More than you think. These days most people automatically recycle their bottles, jars, glass, plastic and paper without even thinking. There are however many other actions that you can take to help to improve our environment. Have you considered the following:
- Instead of throwing a broken appliance out, can it be repaired?
- Often people think "there is no point in repairing, we might as well just buy a new one for that price" but consider the impact of disposal on landfill and the environment. Is it really the best option?
- Think about the entire life-cycle of your appliances all the way from extraction of the raw materials through to disposal and decay of the carcass
- Improve the effectiveness of appliances by looking after them and regularly replacing items like filters and belts on vacuum cleaners, tumble-dryers and dishwashers. Having your appliance serviced regularly can also extend the life of your machine. Paxanpax has a good range of consumable items.
- Using Paxanpax products you can prolong the life of your domestic appliance through repairs and maintenance without it costing the earth.
- Use a lower wash temperature or economy wash and optimise the washing load in order to use energy and water efficiently. Different washing machines operate in different ways; with some it is better to fill the drum and other machines use sensors to detect how much weight is in the load and uses just the right amount of water.
- Look for packaging that has been previously recycled, is recyclable or biodegradable.
- If you do decide to dispose of your appliance and look to buy a new one, consider buying a remanufactured machine i.e. a refurbished or used machine which is in perfect working condition but isn't brand new. This way you won't drain more of the Earth's resources of steel, plastic, precious metals etc.
Think about spending that little bit more for you appliances. Even though you may pay slightly more for your new product, you should benefit from:
- Longer lasting products with more durability built in
- Products that are easier to repair
- Availability of replacement parts - the current average of 10 years is not considered long enough.
- More value from the product in terms of design and durability and repair-ability
- Rogue non-complying manufacturers may see their products banned in Europe so we may see a gradual end to cheap throwaway products which break after a few uses and for which you cannot get a replacement part.
- Less product going to landfill and a reduction in the "throwaway society". These are two of the main drivers behind the directives and the "sustainable development" debate.
Products displaying the EU Ecolabel have met strict environmental criteria in their production and are considered among the best in their class. The EU Ecolabel minimises the use of hazardous substances and substances that may be harmful to the aquatic environment.
In order to be awarded the Community Eco-label, washing machines must comply with the criteria referring to:
- Energy efficiency
- Water consumption
- Spin drying efficiency
- Prevention of excessive use of detergent
- Appliance design
- User instructions
- Take-back and recycling
- Lifetime extension
- Washing performance
- Consumer information
If you must buy a new appliance, ask for advice on the most energy efficient models; look for the energy efficiency rating sticker to guide you in your purchase. It is law in the EU that appliances show the energy efficiency rating - ask your retailer if the appliance does not show it and choose an appliance with the highest rating.
The following graph shows the evolution of Ecolabel products over the last decade and it continues to grow in popularity still. This shows that you do not have to look too hard to find a suitable product at a suitable price.
Evolution of the number of EU Ecolabel Products from 2010 - 2019