A couple weeks ago I wrote about how to cut down on water usage when washing the dishes. But then I started to wonder, how much water does the dishwasher actually use? Am I really saving water by hand-washing?
The average dishwasher uses about 6 gallons of water per load. The average kitchen sink holds 15-20 gallons. If I fill the sink half full, that’s at least 7.5 gallons used, plus any extra I may use rinsing the dishes. So I’m only really more efficient than the dishwasher if I’m filling the sink less than half full, and rinsing sparingly.
There is the energy required to run the dishwasher to consider, plus the energy of heating water in both instances, but water-wise it may be a toss-up.
Energy star dishwashers use even less water and energy than standard ones, which is something to consider if you have one, but I’m guessing if you’ve put money down on an energy star dishwasher, you’re not going to the trouble of washing your dishes by hand anyway.
One thing’s for certain: using the dishwasher is definitely more efficient than my old method of dishwashing (i.e. letting the water run continuously while I scrub and rinse).
My research also suggests that the dishwasher does a much more thorough cleaning job than I do.
I'm ashamed to admit to admit, there was a time in my life when I didn't recycle, because I was so confused about which items my curbside recycling service would accept. Afraid of doing the wrong thing, I did nothing. So what can you actually recycle? The short answer: more than you think.
The best way to start reducing the amount of waste you produce is by assessing how much you're actually producing.
The best way to do that? Dig through your trash.
So you've decided that you want to start transforming your lifestyle. You want less clutter, less waste, and more beauty in your day-to-day. You feel awesome for having arrived at this decision, and excited to begin. But you're also overwhelmed by the amount of work and conscious effort it's going to take to achieve it. Where do you even start?