How Sustainable Are Electrical Devices Like Power Tools?
If you think more carefully how many electrical devices or tools you have bought in the last decade, you might be amazed. If we’re honest, we replace some devices faster than we’d like. There is also a new model for each of these pieces every year.
Who wouldn’t want a new vacuum cleaner with better cleaning results? Or the best electric chainsaw? In general, it can be said that electrical devices and tools are not particularly sustainable if you buy a new model every year or every two years. Most of them want nothing more than a durable device which you can still use in ten years. We have summarized all information on the topic of sustainability in electrical devices and tools.
Electrical Devices Energy Use
Why we regularly replace electrical appliances
The idea of buying a new electrical appliance is usually not without reason. The new purchase happens for a variety of reasons :
- The old device is defective.
- There is a new model with more functions on the market.
- Spare parts to repair the defect are not available.
- The guarantee has expired.
In terms of warranty, consumers usually always have the advantage that they can return their devices and power tools to the store and either receive a free repair or receive a new device. Unfortunately, it is often the case that the brand does not offer any spare parts with which a repair would be very easy to carry out.
In the end, most users decide to buy a new one. Because it is not infrequently suggested by industry that only new devices are excellent.
Problems related to the sustainability of various devices
Unfortunately, there are a few very typical problems on the market that have a negative impact on the sustainability of the devices. We have already mentioned that no spare parts are available. But what other reasons are there for the lack of sustainability?
- Cheap production costs: Many manufacturers mainly focus on quantity, but no longer on quality. A good example of this is the low cost of skilled labor.
- Use of raw materials that pollute the environment: In addition to toxins and heavy metals, there are other substances that are laborious to break down, but which cannot be properly disposed of.
- The deliberate use of inferior materials in order to drastically shorten the shelf life: There are more and more institutions against this handling that demand more sustainability on this point and consider new regulations to be appropriate. This includes, for example, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).
Caution: A very good example of the lack of sustainability of materials that pollute the environment are ordinary batteries. Admittedly, a power tool with a rechargeable battery is much more popular these days than the variant with a cable. However, the production of the battery is by no means sustainable. They mostly contain lithium and cobalt.
How do you recognize a sustainable electrical device / tool?
Fortunately, these days there are more and more initiatives promoting the production of sustainable devices . Even when buying, it is therefore possible to select according to certain criteria and make the right decision.
These labels, for example, distinguish devices that meet special sustainability criteria:
- Blue Angel: Identifies products that contain only small amounts of harmful substances. Electrical devices that have been awarded this mark are particularly energy-efficient.
European eco-label: Here, the entire life cycle of the electrical device is scrutinized, from manufacture to disposal. The product must meet sustainable requirements and offer good energy efficiency.
- TCO label / Energy Star label: Specially designed for office equipment that meets sustainable requirements and is energy-efficient.
Another tip is that if you have any doubts, you can contact the manufacturer of a particular product at any time to obtain more information about its sustainability.
Advantages and disadvantages of sustainability in electrical devices / tools
Finally, let’s summarize the advantages and disadvantages of sustainable electrical appliances:
- Most sustainable devices can be used for a long time.
- Often they can also be repaired in the event of a defect.
- All conditions during production are also regulated sustainably.
For many people, certain electrical devices or tools are a veritable status symbol, which is why they always buy a new one. You will struggle to be sustainable when buying a new one.