A few months before we got married, my husband and I decided it was time to combine our meagre funds and create a joint bank account. This set off a strange course of events, culminating in a cautionary tale about washing machines.
We spent one of those evenings that everybody dreads where we trawled through our finances. We argued the toss over excessive TV packages and unused gym memberships. Every outgoing from each of our bank accounts was analysed in detail. Some were scrapped, some were transferred between accounts and we were left with £15 per month exiting my husband’s bank account with no known recipient.
Convinced that someone had stolen his identity and was proceeding to fleece him for £15 per month, the hubby commenced an investigation. It turned out, the payment was for the washing machine that he had been renting for the past 10 years… Yes, the same washing machine that we’d scrapped a few months previously.
Cut to March 2013 and I read in the news that the Green Alliance and the Ellen McArthur Foundation are recommending that we all rent our washing machines. Apparently, industrial washing machines that laundrettes use can last 40 years. Conversely, more than a third of domestic washing machines don’t even last for five years.
The idea of renting washing machines is that manufacturers can afford to make high quality, durable machines for domestic use. These would be reused rather than scrapped, which would save a huge amount of steel from being lost to landfill. I have an inbuilt hatred of landfill so, of course, I can see the benefit of this.
I can also see the pitfalls though. How many people will fall foul of forgetting what they were paying for and scrap their washing machine when it breaks down? Will there be more steel in these industrial washing machines? And couldn’t manufacturers just make domestic washing machines to last if we paid a little bit more for them? I would rather pay a bit more than have to scrap my washing machine before it was five years old.
Washing machines these days have come a long way. You can pay a bit more and get a better product. When we scrapped our previous (rented – oops) washing machine, we bought one with an 8KG load capacity. It is also more economic and environmentally friendly. It even switches itself off, meaning it’s the one appliance in the house that I don’t have to turn off when my husband has finished using it.
Would I rent a washing machine again? I always want to do the best for the environment but I think I’d take some convincing that this is the best way.
Disclaimer- this is a sponsored post but the views, opinions and forgetful husbands are all mine.