Reducing Your Reliance on Unnecessary Appliances

It’s hard to live without some household appliances, but by reducing how many you have and how you use them, you can become greener — and save money on your energy bills.

Assess each appliance in your home — not just in the kitchen — to determine how or even if you use it. Decide whether it could potentially save you money (a toaster oven, for example), improve your daily nutrition (perhaps a juicer), or make you a little happier (an old record player that lets you listen to those LPs!) to determine whether you’re using it to its full potential. Are you not using something because it’s difficult to clean or stored in an inaccessible place, find a solution to the problem.

Put your appliances to the use test — if you don’t use it, recycle it.
Put your appliances to the use test — if you don’t use it, recycle it.

If you decide that an appliance really isn’t for you (some people swear by slow cookers; others stick them in a basement, never to see the light of day), pass it on to someone who wants it rather than throwing it out and into a landfill. Try selling your extra appliances at a garage sale or on an Internet auction site, giving them away by Freecycling them, or giving them to a charitable or nonprofit organization.

If an appliance is too old to be used safely, investigate local recycling facilities. Parts of the appliance may be recyclable; other parts may need special handling to prevent environmental damage while disposing of them.