How green are your appliances?
What do we think about when we buy our appliances? The biggest factor is definitely price followed by aesthetics. Seldom do we ponder about what goes in making an appliance. Are the materials harming the environment? Do they contain harmful chemicals. But as a consumer we definitely don’t lose our sleep on such issues.
How can we make a difference?
Consumer Durable Companies definitely are looking into this in their design stage and lots are being spent to discover various techniques /materials to ensure the Green Supply Chain.Let us look at the various categories here.
While buying a refrigerator have we thought about the material used on the outer covers. Well let me tell you, it is a steel sheet coated with zinc .It is coated with zinc to give an extra shine,polish to the otherwise bland surface.Consumers are flocking and buying such finished refrigerators.However the zinc used is very harmful to the environment. It is readily flammable and hence poses a threat. These zinc coated steel sheets are mostly imported from China/Korea due to low cost.Firstly we can look into Indian alternatives and most importantly reduce the usage of zinc metal.
– Portable Refrigerators
This is a relatively new type of refrigerator that is primarily used in villages/rural areas due to the lack of electricity and funds to afford an otherwise costly one. It costs upto 8000-9000Rs. And consumes only about 1/3rd the amount of electricity of a normal fridge. Such alternatives can be definitely looked upon by even the city dwellers. This will help reduce costs and electricity to a great limit.
-Hazardous Raw Materials
When we purchase raw materials for a refrigerator, there could be various materials in the locations, shopfloor, standards of safety ,environment followed by a supplier.In that case, Companies are now introducing a check on this. They are launching a compliance called Restriction of Hazardous Substances(RoHS). This ensures that suppliers follow a minimum quality level at their premises and also their materials have no mercury,bromine content.
This definitely shows how responsible our comsumer durable manufacturers are.
Initially the refrigerant used in refrigerators was a gas called CARE-30 that comprised of propane and isobutane. However we have started using R290 to regulate the energy .This contains only isobutane.
All of you must have seen that ad of Amir Khan boasting about an AC that consumes electricity less than a hair dryer. Well what is it exactly? This is essentially because of the change in refrigerant used. A refrigerant is the gas used inside an Ac that causes cooling. Previously, a refrigerant gas was used that consisted of CFC’s. But now due to our research, we have started the use of R300a refrigerant that does not contain any CFC. This is turn does not harm the ozone layer and hence consumes very limited energy. However the price of such AC’s is marginally high but what can be more expensive than our lives and the environment?
-Packing Substances/Green Supply Chain
When a final appliance is manufactured, it is the effort of logistics, supply chain, suppliers, marketing etc. When an appliance is manufactured, there are various tests done on it to ensure that it works well under harsh conditions.
When this is performed, the appliance is dropped from a level.At that time, it consists of a cardboard packing. This consumes space and cost. But instead if egg tray material is used, it is more cost effective. Also due to less space consumed, it requires lesser transport and hence saves fuel. Such measure are critical to the environment.
When chosing suppliers for a particular item , we must essentially choose the one who is geographically closer. This reduces transport costs, fuel, energy, time.
-Power Saving Models
There are certain models of refrigerators and Airconditioners available in the market today that are called are suited to the consumer needs. These are essentially the type that regulate the power consumed according to how the user operates it. For example, if a housewife is washing clothes and she suudenly realizes that she has to pick her son from school, with such a washing machine, as soon as she leaves the house , the machine by itself switches off and the moment she enters, it starts washing again.This technology uses a LED sensory screen where the housewife inputs the wash time. In case of refrigerators also, instead keeping the power on , which we normally do, if timed initially, as soon as we are out of the house, it switches off thereby reducing our electricity to a huge amount.
All the leading Washing Machine and Refrigerator brands produce such models.
-Stick to the basics
With time, the marketing has immensely improved and has largely affected the consumer requirement. Gone are the days when youll hear someone wanting a white refrigerator or a white washing machine. With so many different colours available in the market, everyone wants coloured products. But with the increasing number of coloured variants, pollution levels increase.Too loud appliances essentially heat up the environment in which one lives too a greater extent.
Stay Green,Stay Clean!