Friday, September 17, 2010

Saving the Planet? Maybe a little bit.

Or maybe not, but it made me feel better for a self-righteous moment. I fixed our microwave oven.

A few months ago, I shoved a rectangular dish in the microwave at the river house. It was too big to spin in the oven, so it clanked and bumped as the rotating plate turned under it. Well, it did for a while, anyway, then went quiet as whatever mechanism it was that turned the plate for even cooking gave it up. Like most microwave ovens, this one gets used mostly to heat a cup of water or coffee and to warm up leftovers, so cooking evenly wasn't a concern, but I soon determined that the performance sucked without rotation. Like most folks in this great land of ours, we set out to buy a new appliance. Diane didn't see anything that met her expectations at our local Super Center and by then I had decided that it didn't make sense to toss the old oven with no salvage effort. I pulled the little motor from the bottom of the oven and found the broken plastic part that linked the motor to the spindle under the platter in the oven. With the model number in hand, I went Googling and 5 minutes later, I had ordered the $4.00 part. It cost nearly twice that much to ship it, but I was still out only about 12 bucks. The part arrived in the mail a few days later and it was with pride that I watched a plate spin within the rejuvenated oven.

I'm not all that averse to spending money when I need to and the $100.00 or so for a new microwave wasn't a big hurdle, especially after I'd rationalized the 20-year age of the old one. For much the same reason that we don't yet have flat screen HDTV, I was more bothered by the disposal of the old unit and the waste of resources than I was by the prospect of shelling out a few bucks, so I allowed myself the moment of self-praise. Some things aren't worth the cost of repair, but often we just give up too easily and send  usable goods to the landfill and our dollars to China by way of WalMart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know you've got a good contact for appliances when you need to replace. Call me.