December 29, 2009

Going Green with a Carpet Sweeper

"What you need is an old fashioned carpet sweeper," my husband told me as he cleared the dishes one evening.

We'd recently purchased a new dining room rug, a brown plaid that complements our mission furniture. We'd never considered that the crumbs that faded into the background of our old Oriental would stand out in high relief on the new dark background.

I vacuumed a few times, but it really was a pain in the back to haul that appliance up and down the stairs. I also tried sweeping, but that didn't work very well. So I'd been trying to ignore the crumbs when my husband made his suggestion.

"Do they even make carpet sweepers anymore?" I thought to myself. "And where in the world do you buy them?"
A quick Google search found that Bissell, the brand I remember from my childhood, is still producing sweepers. Another search and I found most hardware stores still carry them. Since I try to shop local whenever possible, I stopped in at Foley's. Sure enough, up on the shelf, there were two models of Bissell carpet sweepers. "We use one all the time," the salesman told me. "They're great."

In less than two minutes the sweeper was out of the box and all set to go. Soon I was revisiting my childhood, remembering the back and forth motions and the pleasant sound the brushes made as they picked up the crumbs and dirt throughout the house.

And then it dawned on me. The carpet sweeper is the ultimate green appliance. No electricity. No plugs. No waste of power. No carbon footprint (at least, not once it's been manufactured).

In fact, the carpet sweeper is one of the most convenient home appliances of all time. It's lightweight, it stores easily (mine's slipped in between the refrigerator and the wall) and they're cheap. It picks up dirt on carpet and hard floors and it's easy to operate (no worry about finding the switch or button). You don't need bags (the tin doors operate just the way I remember them)and anyone, even an appliance luddite, can operate them.

One more proof that less is more -- and that the good old ways are often better.


  1. My parents still use their "Zoom Broom" carpet sweeper also manufactured, I think, by Bissell almost daily. Indeed, simplier is better!

  2. I guess I haven’t read such unique material anywhere else online.
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