A few years ago, I sat at a dinner table with eight people who earned their living writing, cooking or working with food. All the talk centered around food. They recalled perfect meals they'd eaten the way most people speak of lost love ones. They showed off by identifying obscure ingredients in each dish they tasted.
I stayed quiet until the conversation turned to kitchen appliances and a woman who had written several cook books, including a national best seller, complained about the task of defrosting her refrigerator.
She was joking, right? The last time I'd heard of anyone defrosting a refrigerator was 1978 and even then I think it was on a sit-com rerun. But this woman was not joking. All the other gourmands in the room looked at her as if she'd shown up for a murder trial with blood stains on her shirt.
Now I can't help but think she has a grand prize winner on her hands.
The Energy Trust of Oregon is sponsoring The Oldest Fridge Contest to encourage people to recycle those ancient energy suckers, and they've made it fun by dangling a $1,000 grand prize toward a new appliance. To enter the contest, sign up in September to have your working fridge or freezer recycled through the Energy Trust. They provide free pickup and a $50 incentive. You'll also be entered for a chance at the grand prize. You could win bragging rights as proud former owner of Oregon’s Oldest Fridge and receive a brand new qualifying energy-efficient appliance up to a $1,000 value. For a second chance at the grand prize, enter the Ugliest Fridge Photo Contest online. The winner will be announced October 17, 2011.
Plus you can feel good about the fact that Energy Trust of Oregon recycles 95 percent of the components of your refrigerated relic.
Why are they so eager to pull the plug on these old girls?
“Millions of dollars are wasted every year by older fridges lurking in our homes,” said Matt Braman, residential program manager, Energy Trust. “While they may seem handy as a back up in the basement or garage, or even nostalgic, most are not worth the cost to keep around.”
A fridge built before 1993 wastes up to $200 a year in energy costs compared to an ENERGY STAR model, which runs for about $40 annually.
That harvest gold or avocado green number in your kitchen is no better than a thief in the night. Worse. It's a 24-hours-day thief.
For details on the contest go to Energy Trust of Oregon.