My dishwasher recently died. How can I choose an energy-efficient model and then get rid of my old clunker?
David, Calgary

Let’s cover the often-overlooked issue of disposal first. Most cities have large-item pick-up or drop-off programs that run throughout the year. Always check your city’s website.

You’re in Calgary, so I went straight to its website. Calgary has a Throw ‘n’ Go program with facilities set up at the entrance of all three city landfills. They’ll accept your appliance for a charge. You may want to inquire about the disposal fee by calling 3-1-1.


When it comes to all types of appliances, look for the Energy Star logo.

Energy Star is an American-based program, but here in Canada, federal law requires that the EnerGuide label be placed on all new electrical appliances manufactured in or imported into Canada. This label indicates the amount of electricity used by that appliance. When you’re looking at display models, find the EnerGuide label to compare the energy use of similar models and estimate annual operating costs.

And last but not least, don’t overlook the type of soap you’ll be using in your new dishwasher. If you haven’t switched to an eco-friendlier option — one without phosphates or chlorine —now’s the time. How will you know it’s free of harmful chemicals? Choose a soap that has all the ingredients listed on the label. You’ll be surprised at the lack of transparency which will make your decision quite easy.

Lindsay Coulter gives you the straight goods on living green. Send your questions to For more great tips, visit The David Suzuki Foundation at

Latest From ...