Cash for Clunkers: Appliances

When Cash for Clunkers, the government’s automobile trade-in rebate program, ended last month, it removed 690,000 inefficient, gas-guzzling vehicles from the roads. Now, starting in October, consumers can receive rebates for trading in their old, inefficient appliances.for Energy Star-qualified new ones.

What’s up next on the Cash for Clunkers agenda? Natural Home has some ideas. 

Old technology  

Constantly progressing technology makes computers, cell phones, printers and cameras obsolete very quickly, creating electronic waste. This e-waste often ends up in the landfill, putting toxic lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and fire retardant into the environment.  

old cell phones
We don't even want to guess what year these old cell phones came onto the market. Photo By Vaguely Artistic/Courtesy Flickr. 

It’s necessary to properly dispose of e-waste. Government rebates to fund purchases of more eco-friendly technology while recycling the old equipment would be a good next step in the Cash for Clunkers program. 

Land-line telephones  

Trading-in land-line phones for a rebate on eco-friendly cell phones, such as the Motorola Renew phone, would eliminate increasingly obsolete land-line infrastructure. 


Trading in damaged books, outdated textbooks and old paperbacks for a rebate on an electronic reader, such as the Amazon Kindle, could stop books from ending up in the landfill. We can also donate old books to public libraries or schools and recycle the damaged ones.


TVs that are five years old (or older) could be traded in for a rebate on more energy-efficient versions. Energy Star-certified TVs are 30 percent more efficient than conventional models. The specifications require that these TVs be energy-efficient when they are on, off and in standby mode. 

Do you have ideas for the next Cash for Clunkers program? I’d love to hear about it; leave me a comment.