Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Life Cycle of A Refrigerator

I received a small booklet on "The Life Cycle of A Refrigerator" created by Panasonic from the eco craft workshop I attended. Most of us own or use refrigerators at home or workplace and this booklet explains how we can do our part to conserve natural resources if we know how refrigerators are made and if we know how to choose when it comes to buying refrigerators. Here is what Miss. Refrigerator says:

"Hi! Welcome to my world! I am a refrigerator and let me tell you about my life. First, I am made of materials such as iron and plastics. These materials are natural resources obtained from Mother Earth. In the process, energy is used and the environment is also polluted. The materials are then transported to the factory.

Do You Know?

Metals are extracted as metal ores from mother earth through mining. he mining process not only damages the land, it also produces toxic waste called tailing which cause air and water pollution. The metal ores extracted cannot be used directly. They need to go through a process called smelting to separate the metal from other materials in the metal ores. This process uses a lot of energy and emits a lot of toxic dust and air pollutants, which will damage the plants and soils in the surrounding area. Taking natural resources from mother earth requires large amounts of energy and generates lots of waste that damages the environment. It is therefore important to protect the environment by conserving natural resources. The materials used to make the various parts of my body are put together in a factory. Electricity is used to power the machines during this stage and waste is also generated. These can cause damage to the environment. After assembly, I am then delivered with other refrigerators to shops where you can buy and take me home. The trucks that make the deliveries run on fuel and this adds to greenhouse emissions. I have the energy label on me so that you will know how energy-efficient I am by looking at the label! I achieved 4 ticks, which is the highest rating of energy efficiency.

I run electricity 24 hours a day to keep your food fresh. Electricity generation creates large amounts of greenhouse gases, which makes our climate warmer. So by using me, an energy-efficient refrigerator, you can help to reduce electricity consumption, which in turn reduces global warming. You can also save more electricity by using me properly such as not overloading and opening me unnecessarily.

Here are some tips that can help you to reduce the electricity required to power your refrigerator, saving the environment and money in the process!

- Avoid frequent opening and closing of the door
- Allow hot food to cool before placing in the refrigerator
- Do not overload
- Place away from direct sunlight
- Adjust thermostat to suitable settings
- When purchasing a new refrigerator, choose an energy efficient model by checking the energy label on the refrigerator. The more energy the ticks the label has, the more energy efficient the model is. 

When I am getting too old to function well as a refrigerator, please dispose of me properly. If you send me for recycling, I will be broken down and sorted into parts and materials such as iron and plastics at the recycling plant. These materials can be recycled to become materials for new refrigerators. This helps to reduce the damage to the environment as less new resources need to be taken from nature.

So, as you can see, we refrigerators have a life cycle, just like you. At each stage (Make - Deliver - Use - Dispose), we have impacts on the environment through the use of energy and resources from the earth, generation of wastes and so on. You can HELP to reduce the impact! Just do your part by encouraging your family to buy a refrigerator with higher energy efficiency (more ticks), using them properly and sending them for recycling at the end of their life cycle."

Hope you learned something new on how to conserve energy and save on electricity bills!

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