When we moved into our flat two years ago we inherited an old washer/dryer with a "D" energy rating. It has a sole 30C-wash programme. Is it environmentally better to get a new, more efficient machine that has more wash programmes at 30C or cooler, which would mean disposing of the old machine; or to keep the current machine, which is working perfectly well?
The point of having a washing machine is to take some of the drudgery out of life, isn't it, just as the point of having widescreen TV is so that you can snigger at all of Michael Moore as he flaunts his latest schoolboy antics?
So my hunch would be to follow whichever course makes your life more pleasant - while making a nod to your environmental concerns. What is the trade-off between using more of the world's resources to make a new washing machine, and protecting the world by using less energy by buying a more efficient washer/dryer? It's hard to say. Even some environmentalists now suggest that putting a wind turbine on a suburban semi is more a gesture than anything, since it produces little energy, and might take decades to recoup the cost in fuel-bill savings.
The ease of a new machine, combined with its ecological credentials, might make that the smarter choice. Then again, it is also worth making a stand for machines that function perfectly well using only one setting. Your new washer, with 87 programmes, a digital information panel, a self-diagnostic troubleshooting facility and a built-in internet connection will probably come with an instruction manual the size of Brooklyn. It'll take three weeks to read, during which time you won't be able to wash anything: which is environmentally friendly in its way, I suppose.
Copyright (C) The Times, 2007
Source Citation:"Do we keep the older, less efficient washing machine that still works or buy a new energy efficient model?; Modern morals.(Features)." The Times (London, England) (June 27, 2007): 3. Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 25 Sept. 2009
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