Do we need a new hoover?

The vacuum cleaner, a Dyson upright, which I bought about 5 years ago has gradually been breaking and becoming less efficient year on year. The suck has almost completely gone due to silly plastic hoses which keep on breaking. The carpet tape repairs make it almost impossible to pack it neatly away and the whole thing is turning into a potential landfill candidate......

So, as I am on a "next time something breaks consider if it really does need replacing" stint..... I'm thinking to myself do we need a hoover at all??

My Grandmother had a hoover, bought by her family as a labour saving gift. It stood unused in the front room. She continued to brush and sweep for the remainder of her life.

I think the hoover might be another of those "essential gadgets" we all take for granted that we need, but do we?

I have decided maybe not.

I am embarking on a whole month with no hoover to give it a trial. Ready for this I have purchased a British made stiff broom head from my local ironmongers, it cost the princely sum of £4.92 and has been fitted with a homemade stick of hazel taken from the hedge as a handle. This completes my brush set. The stiff one for the rugs, soft one for my hard floors and finally my little trusty hand brush complete with dust pan

for all the sweepings.

My last bit of dusty kit is my woolly long handled cobweb catcher. Its a wool alternative to a traditional feather duster. Basically its a strip of sheepskin wrapped around a cane. Works a treat. I purchased mine nearly 20 years ago from Cold harbour Mill in Devon.

So let the sweeping begin.....

Why is NOT having a vacuum cleaner a greener option?

  • Think of the amount of vacuum cleaners every year that go into landfill sites! They don't seem to be built to last anymore so only work for approx 5 years. If you buy your first cleaner at 20 and keep hoovering till you are 70 years old that's a whooping 10 huge lumps of plastic going into landfill.

  • If those 10 hoovers cost you a minimum of £100 each that's £1000 that you had to spend just to have the privilege of owning a hoover.

  • You are not only saving the cost of purchase BUT your electrical hoover needs to be plugged into an energy source... costing you and the earth more energy.

  • Hoovering is not that much quicker than sweeping. By the time you've unearthed the hoover from wherever you stash it, battle with the tangled heap of cable (because the last user did not tidy it up correctly) plugged in for one or two rooms, unplugged for next lot.... changed the150 different attachments you stick on the end of the hose for doing edges, skirting etc..... emptied the bag (if this is an option with your model), washed the filter because its not sucking properly.....

  • All you do with a brush, is.... well, brush!!!

  • Brushing and sweeping will help to work your upper body muscles, especially potentially flabby underarms. Women of years ago brushed daily and it didn't hurt them!

  • Hoovering is a back killer! Anyone with a bad back will know just what I mean. That constant stooping while you hoover the house is a killer! A broom with the correct length handle is much less of a strain as you still get to stand up... and you can do 1 room at a time.

  • My best friend has a passion for sweeping up.... it just might be therapeutic for you too!

Go forth housewives and sweep.....
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