Passionate about the environment and avoiding the waste of the Earth’s precious resources, Chris had been rebuilding and reconditioning electrical appliances on a part time basis for over 25 years, but in 2012 took the decision to become a full time business. Allison joined him shortly after the business went full time and since their wedding in April 2016, with Allison splitting her time between a successful career as an artist and very different work at Upcycled Appliances, they became partners in both Business and Marriage. We're often asked if it's difficult living in each other's pockets 24 hours a day? We wouldn't have it any other way, there's still not enough time together!
IIn 2019, Chris and Allison were joined by Sean, who quit his job as a field engineer for Hotpoint and brought with him a wealth of experience and energy to the business. Ill health has since forced Allison to concentrate on her art work, but after hearing her story, Damian at DH Watergardens offered her a rent free space in his showroom to use as a gallery. With an adjoining door between the Upcycled Appliances workshop and Valhalla Corner Gallery, Chris and Allison are still working together.
UPCYCLED APPLIANCES MAKING A MEASURABLE DIFFERENCE TO THE ENVIRONMENT
We are all beginning to look more closely at our carbon footprint and what we can do to reduce it. So, as Upcycled Appliances approaches the milestone of 5000 appliances reconditioned and around 350 tons of material not consigned to scrap, here are a few things you might want to ponder:
Only about 40% of the carbon footprint of an appliance comes from its use over an average of its 7 year life. Just short of 60% of its carbon footprint comes from manufacture and distribution of its components, assembly and onward distribution to the point of sale.
IRECYCLED VS RECONDITIONED
f you thought you were “recycling” your old machine, you may not have realised that the concrete, rubber plastic and wood used to manufacture it isn’t getting recycled. Only the metal components, typically less than 50% of the average 70kg washing machine’s weight gets recycled.
While the energy saving from recycling metal rather than extracting it from the earth is huge (70% for iron and 90% for aluminium), the energy saving from not recycling an item and making it fit for purpose again makes recycling a very poor second choice. With almost no component manufacture, distribution, end product assembly or onward distribution, the reconditioning process removes over 90% of the carbon footprint of manufacturing. Your reconditioned appliance saves more that 50% of the carbon footprint of buying and using a new one.
LET’S DO THE MATHS
It’s hard to do the maths when it comes to a carbon footprint for an appliance. Some people tumble dry, some don’t, some use 30 degree washes, some 60 degrees But a generous underestimate for a load of washing is a frightening 1kg of CO2 produced per wash and 2 washes a week, so 100kg of CO2 a year is pretty much a best case example.
Average 7 year life washing twice a week = 700kg of CO2 (YOU can help this one, wash at a lower temperature)
Average fully loaded production footprint is another 700kg of CO2 a year
Upcycled Appliances has recommissioned 5000 machines in ten years
700kg x 5000 ….. THREE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND KILOGRAMS of CO2 saved.
That’s the same carbon footprint you would generate as your proportion of a fully seated passenger jet, flying all the way around the equator a thousand times.