How Energy Efficient is Your Refrigerator?

Day 146 – The EPA says you should replace most appliances after 10 years. However, some appliances may last a little longer than others. I’ve been through a couple washer and dryers in that time frame, but the refrigerator is still plugging along. Energy Star has created a calculator for refrigerators to figure out if the savings justify the cost of replacement.

“If all refrigerators sold in the United States were Energy Star certified, the energy cost savings would grow to nearly $700 million each year and 9 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from more than 870,000 vehicles.”Earth911

Earth911 created a Buyer’s Guide for the most efficient refrigerators. They compared ten of the most efficient standard-sized options from Energy Star’s 2021 Most Efficient list that are currently available for purchase.

If you are in the market for a new refrigerator make sure your old one gets recycled. Many retailers will take your old refrigerator when dropping off your new one. Be sure to ask about their recycling practices.

Lastly, whether if your refrigerator is brand new or has been around for few years here are some good tips from Earth911, to keep it running efficiently.

  1. Refrigerators should be set to 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit and freezers to 0 F.
  2. If your kitchen layout permits it, the refrigerator should be positioned away from heat sources such as ovens, dishwashers, or direct sunlight from a window.
  3. Position the fridge a few inches from the wall to allow air circulation.
  4. Don’t store stuff on top of the fridge.
  5. Clean the condenser coils a few times a year.
  6. If the door seals lose their airtightness, replace them.
  7. Only store food in closed containers to keep the moisture levels low.
  8. Keep the refrigerator three-quarters full but organized, so you don’t waste time looking for things with the door open.

We don’t think about them, until the electricity goes out. But, our refrigerators are working hard for us everyday. We should make sure we are doing what we can to make them as efficient as possible.

Tomorrow, eco-friendly sunscreens.

Best Buy: They recycle a ton of stuff

Day 72 – I’m a member of a Facebook group called Chicago Environmentalists. It’s a great place where people share their ideas and suggestions on recycling, zero waste living and all things related to the environment. Lately, Best Buy has come up numerous times when suggesting places to recycle various items. I thought it would be helpful to share all the items that Best Buy recycles. If you don’t see it on the list, they don’t take it. To be sure, check out each category listed on the website for items they do not accept.

Before you recycle it, see if your item qualifies for the Best Buy Trade In Program or if it can be fixed by the Geek Squad Total Tech Support.

A note from Best Buy – Recycling is intended for residents only. Products from businesses and organizations, or items that present a health or safety hazard are not accepted.

Products they recycle for free (Limit 3 items per household per day)

  1. Alarm clocks
  2. Amps and effects
  3. Audio mixers / DJ turntables
  4. Battery backups
  5. Binoculars
  6. Blu-Ray players
  7. Cables and connectors
  8. Calculators
  9. Camcorders
  10. Camera lenses
  11. Camera memory cards
  12. Casette players
  13. CB radios / scanners
  14. Curling Irons
  15. CD/DVD Drives
  16. CD players / recorders
  17. Chargers
  18. Computer mice
  19. Computer speakers / controllers
  20. Desktop computers
  21. Digital cameras / SLR cameras
  22. Digital photo frames
  23. DirecTV set-top boxes/converters
  24. DVD players / in- dash overhead DVD player / Portable DVD player
  25. Fans
  26. GPS / in-dash / outdoor / portable
  27. Hard drives
  28. Hair dryers
  29. Hair straighteners
  30. Headphones / handsfree headsets
  31. Heart monitors
  32. Home audio networking
  33. Home recording interfaces
  34. HTIB / soundbars / speakers
  35. E-readers
  36. Ink / toner cartridges – Recycle old ink cartridge and receive $2 savings on your next ink purchase of $40 or more, or recycle old toner cartridge and receive $2 savings on your next toner purchase of $100 or more.
  37. Internet TV set-top boxes/satellite receivers
  38. iPods / other MP3 players
  39. Keyboards (computer)
  40. Laptops
  41. Laptop batteries
  42. Modems / routers/ hubs
  43. Monitors – see below for fee related to monitor recycling
  44. Monitoring systems
  45. Netbooks
  46. Pedometers
  47. Phones / landline phones / mobile phones
  48. Portable gaming
  49. Portable LCD screens
  50. Portable media players
  51. Power inverter
  52. Printers / scanners / fax
  53. Projectors
  54. Radar detectors
  55. Receivers / boomboxes
  56. Recorders
  57. Remotes
  58. Satellite radio
  59. Security systems
  60. Shredders
  61. Sound / video cards
  62. Speaker systems
  63. Surge protectors
  64. Tablets
  65. TiVo
  66. Turntables
  67. TVs – see below for fee related to TV recycling
  68. TV antennas less than 3′ long
  69. Two-way radios
  70. Vacuums / stick vacuums / robot vacuums / upright canister vacuums
  71. VCRs
  72. Video game consoles
  73. Wall mounts
  74. Weather stations
  75. Web cams
  76. Wireless broadband
  77. Wiring harnesses and install kits

Products they recycle for a $29.99 fee per item (Limit two per household per day)

  1. Tube TVs smaller than 32″
  2. Flat-panel TVs: LCD, plasma, LED smaller than 50″
  3. Portable TVs
  4. Monitors

* There are no store drop-off fees in California. Stores in Connecticut and Pennsylvania do not accept TVs for drop-off.

Items they will haul away for $29.99 as long as you are having a replacement product delivered. If not replacing with new product the haul away fee is $99.99.

  1. Cooktops
  2. Dishwashers
  3. Dryers
  4. Freezers
  5. Ice makers
  6. Microwaves
  7. Ranges/stove and range hoods
  8. Refrigerators
  9. TVs
  10. Wall ovens
  11. Washers

With your help, Best Buy has collected more than 2 billion pounds of electronics and appliances for recycling, making them the largest retail collection program in the US.

Tomorrow, breaking down the 30×30 goal.