Clean and Green

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

GreenHawks Media

GreenHawks Media is Miami University’s first environmental publication. Our goal is to unite green initiatives on campus and in the community. We hope to make a difference in a journalistic fashion by spreading news and information as well as educating our readers. We would like to present GreenHawks Media as a central place for groups and individuals to share their ideas, concerns, and initiatives. Individually and in small groups, efforts are made to make a difference and promote change. While one person may have a concern, another is researching it and needs assistance. While one initiative is being made in a science department, a similar idea is being discussed in a local business. GreenHawks Media provides the opportunity for shared visions to come together. We are journalists, writers, photographers, and scientists. We are students. We are motivated to use media to contribute to the change that our generation needs to make in order to protect and understand the planet we call home.


  1. I also hate to have dirty dishes… and honestly I dream of having a dishwasher! It is going to save so much time and effort …. but on the other hand it is really not good for the environment to use so much electricity! The tips in Green Eco Living are really nice! 🙂 Thanks!

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