Sometimes, being an environmentally-conscious person and being a college student do not mix. I have noticed this with myself particularly when it comes time to do the dishes.
I am, admittedly, a neat freak. I do not like to let the dishes sit in the sink, but it is incredibly impractical for me to scrub every plate, fork and knife each time I have a bite to eat. The dishwasher is convenient, but it bothers me to use it for two reasons: I see it as another mark-up on my electric bill and because it seems less environmentally-friendly.
As I scrubbed my dishes after breakfast this morning, I found myself contemplating what the most eco-friendly way to go about doing dishes actually was. After doing some research, I discovered (brace yourselves) some conflicting advice on the internet.
Apparently, several studies recently conducted show the dishwasher is the most efficient, and therefore, the most environmentally-friendly way to do the dishes. Other studies provided different conclusions: hand-washing with lukewarm water, recycling shower water (uh?), and something referred to as the “dip-cup technique,” all were touted as being the greenest way to wash dishes.
I decided there was no definitive answer to my question. In my opinion, it’s most important to be conscious of how you’re washing your dishes and always be mindful of what is best for the environment.
In the meantime, this website: Green Eco Living has some really helpful tips for the best way to hand-wash and use the dishwasher while keeping the planet as green as possible. For example, only use the dishwasher when it’s completely full and don’t use the heat dry cycle. For hand-washing, instead of running water to rinse dishes, put some lukewarm water in the other side of a double sink, or a large bowl, and dip dishes in to rinse.
Photo License: Creative Commons