Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sustainability Sunday: Refurbished Appliances

For the innaugural Sustainability Sunday post, I present a picture of goofy me with the Stopwaste recycling guide, looking at refurbished washing machines.

Last April, we bought a "newsed" dryer when ours broke. A few weeks ago my son washed too much bedding (Nick, I have to give you full points for intitiative!) and gave our washing machine indigestion. We've been at the laundromat since then. I finally saved up some dollars and we went back to J. Caseber Washer & Dryer for a newsed washer.

I originally found Robert through the recycling guide, as part of a reduce-reuse-recycle effort. "Most of our business comes off of craigslist," Robert told me. "You're the first one from the recycling guide." Except for minor scratches, Robert's refurbished washers and dryers are as good as new ones. "Clothes don't care what the washer looks like," he says. Mechanically, he goes through them with a close eye for easily damaged parts and swaps those out with new ones. I don't know if you're lucky enough to have this sort of appliance repair business close to you, but if so, it's worth checking into.

For a third to half the price of a new washer, I get one with an unconditional parts and labor warranty, that comes with no packaging to throw away. Plus, not only do I get a few dollars off using my busted washer as a trade-in, but also I get to skip the hassle of figuring out how to dispose of the broken machine.

We got the newsed one home and installed. It's got the most knobs I've ever seen on a washing machine. As a top loader, it uses a lot of water, but I plan on figuring out a gray water system so I'm not really that concerned about that resource. Nick had to watch it wash clothes. He'll have plenty of opportunity; that's quite a pile of clothes we've got saved up, there!

One final note: we use Seventh Generation petroleum-free detergent. It's hypoallergenic and cleans clothes really well and rinses clean, too.

Have a great Super Bowl Sunday, and don't worry, I can fold clothes and root for the Steelers at the same time!

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