You, Your Home Appliances and Your Carbon Footprint – What You Need to Know

home appliances carbon footprint

As humans, we use an incredible amount of energy. It’s really quite remarkable how much is used up simply as a result of everyday life. Here at Repair Aid, we’re no stranger to technology that eats away at energy – we have a repair service that sees a lot of use.

While some countries argue over the existence of climate change, it’s here, and it is necessary to get over the how and why, and focus on a solution. While a good portion of energy expended does go to heating and cooling the home, that’s not easily managed.

One thing that we can control rather effectively is our appliances. The appliances that you have in your home make up a significant percentage of the energy you use. If you want to reduce your overall carbon footprint, then you probably want to think about the appliances you have.

Smart Appliances and Carbon Footprint

A smart appliance is a great way to cut down on your carbon footprint.

smart appliance

For example, try replacing your old appliances for new, smarter ones. They can use up to 40% less energy to do the same task.

Did you know that washing clothes adds an enormous amount to your carbon footprint? Washing and drying a load twice a week creates around 440kg of CO2 each year. One of the biggest advantages of a high-efficiency (HE) washing machine is its lower carbon footprint impact on the environment. The HE washer is using up to 66% less water per wash but also less energy since there is less water to heat. They are presently the most advanced washing machine technology – learn more about how high-efficiency washing machines work.

Carbon footprint: The environmental impact of your laundry

Infographic - laundry carbon footprint
Infographic: Laundry carbon footprint

About 90% of the energy the washing machine uses goes towards heating the water. Use the cold water cycle for washing your clothes when possible. Also cold water means fabrics won’t break down as much and that will reduce the amount of microplastics getting into the environment.

Please read on for our tips and advice to help you cut carbon and energy costs:

Modern home improvements don’t actually stop at using less energy than normal, mind you. Food waste is also a big problem. The carbon footprint behind wasted food can equal 4.4 gigatons of CO2.

The use of smart appliances can greatly reduce the consumption of energy and reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately, a lot of bad technology exists. For example, a fridge that’s on the cheap side will have a more variable temperature, which can cause issues for food preservation.

Keeping Food Safe

Food storage is one of those things that a lot of people try to find a solution for, and some do manage to track it down occasionally.

If you want to make a real difference, fix the system instead of just patching it up, there’s a couple of things you can do. These will make all the difference in the long run.

leave a gap between the fridge and your wall

For example, you can leave a gap between the fridge and your wall which is as wide as your hand to cut your power usage by 10%. You can also make sure that you put the frozen foods inside the fridge and let them thaw. They’ll bring the ambient temperature down and help save a bit of electricity.

Also roughly 90% of refrigerant emissions occur at appliance’s end-of-life, so replacing an old refrigerator with one that has received an Energy Star rating could reduce your carbon footprint by 5,000 pounds over the lifetime of the appliance.

Keeping your fridge organised will not only enhance food safety but will also reduce food wastage and lessen your carbon footprint.

Infographic how to organise your fridge
Infographic: How to organise your fridge

Please click on the links below for more information on how to reduce your refrigerator’s carbon footprint:

General Carbon Footprint Reduction Tips

There are definitely some other things that you can do to make sure that you are preventing the build-up of your carbon footprint. For example, use cold water when you activate the dishwasher or the washing machine.

You should definitely try using a dishwasher more often, because it requires fewer resources. You could make sure that you manually dry any of your washing wherever possible. A dishwasher cares more about the environment than hand washing dishes does.

The individual actions that we take are important, but it’s also necessary to acknowledge the scale of the problem.

Our individual actions may not be able to solve climate change on its own, but they can help to bring about a collective change that will be effective over time.

When we do talk about climate change, it’s important to try and keep a sense of scale in mind.

Small changes can feel like making a big difference, but it’s important to recognise that you are just one person making a difference to your life.

Unfortunately, a mindset like this might feel good for you to start with, but in a lot of cases, it can be harmful in the long-term. By looking at things in this fashion, you actually start to trivialise the concept of climate change.

It’s really not as straightforward to fix things as you think it would be. It’s not just a case of being able to make a few changes in your lifestyle and solve the problem. It’s much more extensive than this, but people convinced themselves that they can do something profoundly meaningful.

Making Positive Changes

Ultimately, one of the most important things that you can do when it comes to trying to challenge climate change is to communicate in an effective way.

On a large scale, we have to try and shift culture towards embracing environmentally friendly ideas, and looking to try and change the problems that are being had on a cultural basis surrounding the carbon footprint.

Supporting Manufacturers

It’s probably important to remember that as a consumer, you have a certain level of power when it comes to companies. If you make the right purchases, and buy from the right people, then you can begin to affect positive change by shifting consumer trends.

Supporting those companies that have green initiatives can really help to push positive change forward. It might seem like you can’t do much as a single consumer, but if a cultural shift takes place towards these companies, then it’s going to see a positive change.

To give an example, Bosch launched 1000 different projects back in 2019 that generated enough electricity to power 65,000 households in Germany for a year.

This company in particular is one that really has taken up a lot of responsibility for combating the problems that we face with climate change. They intend to become carbon neutral in the immediate future, and this would make them the first big company in the industrial world to do so.

Also Samsung announced the launch of its carbon offsetting campaign in 2019. The company pledges to offset the carbon emissions from customer usage for the full product lifecycle.

LG has launched its Zero Carbon initiative in 2019 as well, committing to achieving net-zero carbon emissions from its global operations by 2030.

From 2021 onwards, the German manufacturer Miele promised to be CO₂ neutral across all its locations.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, making positive changes towards reducing the carbon footprint is tricky, but it is possible.

It’s definitely not the easiest thing to do to alter our habits in a positive way, but with enough time and commitment, we can do so. As a consumer, you have a lot of power based on your buying habits, so companies will naturally begin shifting their practices to attract customers if there is a cultural shift towards purchasing from businesses that have these more carbon-friendly practices.

We can always look forward to more carbon friendly practices in the future. Hopefully, as we grow and develop as people, businesses will begin to recognise the importance of making these positive changes.

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