Saturday, March 1, 2008

Transgression leads to new-purchase amendment

The first egregious failure in my no-new-purchase buying pledge happened last week.

Luckily, I live with a scientist, so I can say that even failure is success because you learn something. It's true. Failure invites information that is worthy of study and reflection.

In truth, I cannot consider this purchase a total failure.

Let me start by telling you the amendment to said no new-purchase pledge:

**I hereby pledge to NOT purchase anything NEW (excluding items related to food and shelter) that doesn't in some way contribute to the WELL-BEING or BETTERMENT of the planet. (Right now my husband is making a very strong argument about decent sleepwear somehow helping the earth)**

Seriously, I failed to notice upon making the pledge that it didn't really take into account those good choices we can make that can actually help the planet rather than harm. For example that maple tree I want to plant this spring in the front yard. And I'm really wanting another tree for the backyard. Afterall, trees help us reduce the earth's temperature. My seven-yr old said the other day --standing next to a tree helps you breathe better, mom! I also have plans for a few window boxes (check a future blog to see what my research has turned up in the way of a sustainable product there).

But another important consideration: replacing inefficient, energy losers in the home, with better, greener alternatives.

Thus the amendment.**

Our new purchase item: an energy-star Bosch dishwasher.

Our existing dishwasher was a useless water waster that has been approaching death for several months now. In two weeks, when I take it to Coiner's, that death will be official.

But here's the way I went about this BIG DEAL purchase for our home.

Step one: RESEARCH.

I spent one hour in the library and on the internet and on the phone (which isn't a lot of time when you think about it), researching the best energy efficient dishwasher (budget and noise allowance were also considered). The winner: the Bosch she45co{2}UC. I researched consumer reports and, as well as asked detailed questions of the company. One calculator estimated 80 dollars per year of savings using this model over our existing, conventional one. Each cycle uses only 5 gallons. Hand-washing has been proven to use far more than that (especially the way some people wash, with the spout continuously running). No joke, Mom. Also, Bosch (moreso than Kenmore, another consumer "best buy") has a strong committment to making a long-lasting high energy-efficient products.

Step Two: What to do with the old one.

I called my plumber who will be installing it and ask him what can I do with my old dishwasher (clearly I can't give it to someone else, so that they can waste energy), he says he will "dispose" of it. What does that mean, I ask. "I'll take it to the dump." "Eeks. So it can sit in the landfill?" No way. So I tell him I will take it to Coiner's Scrap Metal myself.

Step 3 - It's still important to keep in mind these energy saving tips:

1- run the dishwasher with a full load, always!
2- AVOID heat-dry, rinse hold, pre-rinse cycles (energy intensive)
3- unless you have a really dirty batch, wash on the shorter cycle
(4- if you can ultra-conserve on water using a rinse bowl, instead of running the spout full blast for rinsing, maybe you can use less than 5 gallons for a full load But I can't with family of four, eating at least two meals a day at home)


**To clarify: purchasing this product is not like planting a tree, but it is a better, smarter alternative to one that is ineffective and a waste of precious resources.

1 comment:

ChrEliz said...

Cool! Now I know where to start when I'm ready to buy a new dishwasher. Now, what about washing machines?