09 August 2009

green 1 thing: rethinking the dishwasher

If you’re one of those New Yorkers fortunate enough to have a dishwasher (you lucky, lucky dogs you), you’ll be happy to know that your magic machine saves more water than washing your scummy pots by hand! But there’s a catch (there always is, isn’t there?): you’re saving water only if you’re running the dishwasher when it’s full. Like, seriously full. Not “turn it on before Weeds!” full, not “I can’t wait to use my crock pot again!” full, but FULL. Otherwise you’re wasting water – loads of it. It takes between 11-15 gallons of water to run a conventional dishwasher; run once daily, that’s enough water to fill over 100 hot tubs. 100 hot tubs out of a single dishwasher?! Ahh!!

Don’t stress, though – reducing your dishwasher usage is hardly painful. Just stick to using it only when it’s maxed for capacity. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines on your model (if you don’t have the manual, guidelines can usually be found on-line) and be sure you’re using the proper amount of detergent so you don’t have to run the same load twice. If you really want to go for the gold, skip the dry cycle and let your dishes air dry – you’ll save energy and reduce the amount of green house gases your home emits.

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