Apparently I have upset the appliance gods. Right before the holidays, the dryer stopped drying anything. And then right after the holidays, the refrigerator started freezing everything.
December turned into one costly month budget-wise. And what about Earth-wise? You’d think that fixing something old would be automatically better than buying something new. But, actually, when it comes to the life cycle analysis of most appliances — or their cradle-to-grave environmental impact — it turns out it’s the use of an appliance that has the biggest impact. Which means if your refrigerator is a shade of ‘70s avocado, you’ll step lighter on the planet if you embrace the energy efficiency of the 21st Century.
While there are a lot of variables to consider, here are some tips to help you decide whether to repair a broken appliance or replace it:
Since I’m currently living as an expatriate in Sweden, I have been watching the stimulus package action from afar — with envy! Details are now emerging on how U.S. homeowners can take advantage of tax credits for energy-efficient improvements: a 30 percent rebate, up to a max of $1,500 for most projects. (The old federal tax credit was 10 percent up to a max of $500.)
The long dark days of winter are here, bringing us cheery snowmen, cozy nights by the fire, and… sky-high heating bills. There’s nothing to be done, you think. You’ve got to heat the house, right? Well yes, but there might be a way to reduce the amount of energy you use — without resorting to three layers of sweaters and goofy wool hats.
It’s mid-December, and you’re still not sure what to get your sweetie? Try one of these green tech goodies.
Solar Gorilla, $250