Our kitchen appliances are what we rely on to keep our homes clean and our families nourished. But for many years they have had the opposite effect on our planet, spilling poisonous plastics into the environment and damaging gases into the atmosphere, as well as draining precious natural resources.
When a washing machine is run, its wastewater carries with it more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres from synthetic clothing (according to research at Plymouth University). That plastic gradually makes its way into our waterways, seas and oceans, where it can poison or starve the wildlife there.
Then there is the energy that a washing machine and tumble dryer use to heat up the water, run the wash cycles and dry the clothing. The bigger and heavier the machine and load, the more water and power is needed. Not all the electricity used to make the machines work comes from renewable resources, instead it comes through burning fossil fuels, releasing greenhouse gases into the air.
It is the same issue with ovens, whether they use gas, electric or a mix of both. Both rely on fossil fuels, gas using it directly to deliver heat while electricity is generated by the burning of these precious fuels. As electric ovens generally take longer than gas, this extra cooking time means more power is needed and more fossil fuels are burnt to produce it.
Buy green for a healthier planet
But these appliances are essentials to our lives, so we strive to find sustainable ways to offset some of the damage they can cause.
We can begin by looking at how they are made, and actively seek out appliances that are made from recycled materials – things that can’t bio degrade easily in landfill but can be rescued and reused instead to create new products. The UK's leading kitchen appliance manufacturer Beko has successfully developed products which do exactly this – specifically using discarded fishing nets, thread waste and plastic bottles.
Abandoned fishing gear makes up around 10 per cent of the debris in the ocean. Dubbed ‘ghost gear’, it is an unseen and deadly hazard that entangles sea life and damages coral reefs. But fishing nets, instead of being left to pollute the water and threaten the lives of the majestic marine mammals and birds, can be repurposed and used instead to make components for the manufacture of ovens. *Beko’s RecycledNet™ built-in ovens can make any meal taste that little bit sweeter when you know it is helping to clean up the oceans and save at-risk marine wildlife and habitats.
Plastic drinks bottles that are used once before being carelessly tossed into landfill, can take 500 years to decompose in sites that are releasing greenhouse gasses and harmful chemicals into the water and soil. Instead of this rubbish being wasted, **Beko has developed technology so they can be converted into a durable high-performance material used to make washing machine and tumble dryer drum tubs.
Boost your budget through energy efficiency
Top tips for saving energy
1 Don’t open the oven door to check food when cooking, it lets heat escape and prolongs the process.
2 Turn the oven off before the food is fully cooked. The oven should remain hot enough to finish the dish off, even when not switched on.
3 Don’t leave appliances on standby. It’s unnecessary and can cost up to £80 a year. Flick that switch before going to bed or leaving the house.
4 Drop the temperature you wash at. It can be just as effective to wash at 30°C as it can at 40°C or more. And a reduction of just 3°C in the average wash temperature of Europe is equivalent to eliminating the emissions from over 700,000 cars.
When it comes to powering appliances, it is time to be smart and invest in ones that proudly proclaim their eco credentials. Home appliances account for around 45 per cent of your annual household electricity bill. If energy is used more efficiently, it could save you money in your pocket as well as the planet. For example, tumble dryers are expensive to run, but are a necessity during winter weather when hanging washing out to dry simply isn’t an option. Switch to a tumble dryer like the EcoSmart by Beko, which has an A++ rating, and you could save more than £400 a year. Always look at the energy labels of the appliances. The label rates products from dark green A+++ (most efficient) to red D (least efficient) The lower the kilowatt hours, the less energy it will use. Aim for appliances that have an A rating and above as being the most eco-friendly and energy efficient.
Beko, the Uk’s No1 Leading appliance manufacturer, is committed to doing what it can to save the planet for both present and future generations. To do so, it has found ways to use more recycled materials in the manufacture of its products. *Beko’s RecycledNet™ Built in oven range is helping to clean up the oceans. The door décor plastic, display cover and inner display cover of RecycledNet™ ovens are all made from recycled fishnets and thread waste. While **Beko’s RecycledTub™ washing machines and washer dryers use up to 60 recycled plastic bottles in their tubs, being kinder to the planet without compromising on durability and performance. Shop these ground-breaking, earth-saving, sustainable products at Beko at AO.com