Newer Appliances Can Reduce Your Eco-Footprint Dramatically
While buying a brand-new Toyota Prius or Honda Insight would be a wonderful way to reduce your ecological footprint, the fact remains that a new car (especially a hybrid model) is expensive. Therefore, a considerable portion of eco-advocates are opting to make green renovations, improvements, and additions to their homesteads. In doing so, homeowners are finding solace knowing they are doing their part to ensure a healthy environment; not to mention, the considerable tax benefits that go along with most eco-friendly home improvements.
The question now though, where do you start? Most homeowners find that improving the energy efficiency of their homes is the easiest place to begin. With that being said, break your house down into sections by room, estimate their energy use on a scale of one through ten, and rank the rooms accordingly. In most cases, the kitchen is the culprit responsible for most of the energy consumption in the home. That shouldn’t come as a surprise however, when you consider the energy-hogs that normally reside in the kitchen—appliances!
That’s right! If you own appliances that are more than 10 years old, chances are good that those older, less-efficient appliances are consuming a considerable amount of electricity (even when not in use!). The easiest option would be to upgrade your older appliances, for newer appliances that meet higher-efficiency standards; usually, this is marked by the Energy Star logo. As for the older appliances being replaced, they can be recycled or even donated to various charities, organizations, or perhaps just a family in need. Never, under any circumstances, dispose of old appliances in the landfill. Appliances, especially older ones, contain dangerous chemicals and components that pose environmental concerns.
Moreover, there are also tax benefits associated with appliances, both new and old. In most situations, efficient appliances can lead to income tax credits. Furthermore, depending on what you do with the older appliances, donations are usually tax-deductible as well. So, not only would you be reducing your ecological footprint by replacing your older, less efficient appliances, but you also are presented with the opportunity to help someone in need, which can lead to potentially hefty tax advantages.
Aside from donating old or broken appliances, you can also recycle them too. Recycling old appliances prevents them from being left to rot in a landfill, where hazardous chemicals and compounds can be released. For example, a refrigerator manufactured before 1995 uses refrigerant containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which have been shown to deplete the ozone layer. Over the past several years, several organizations and governmental-sponsored programs have sprouted up all across the United States and Canada. Such organizations, like the ARCA (Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc.), offer rebates and may even provide free pickup of unwanted appliances.
Of course, there are other ways to make your kitchen, and ultimately your entire home, more green and eco-friendly. However, most folks find that replacing their appliances is a satisfying place to start; especially when their utility bills come in every month. So whether your replacing a microwave, or upgrading the entire kitchen, you can sleep sound knowing that your kitchen is consuming far less energy, aiding in the preservation of our surroundings for generations to come.