Nicola & Pete plus daughters Lola, now 9 and Nell, now 7, spent last year exploring Britain in a carbon-light manner. Our spring 2008 challenge is to give up waste from 24 March to 24 April. Most posts are by Nicola (as it was her silly idea). This is how it’s going:
Expert after expert claims that dish washing is better done by machines. They are apparently low on water use, can be light on energy use and make more controlled demand on your hot water. Thankfully Pete and I are as one on this – we think the way we wash up is so imperfect that it’s definitely less wasteful if we do it in the sink. Everything gets air dryed on a mix of wooden dish rack and the stainless steel drainer.
When we revamped our kitchen we moved the dwarf-sized sink out of the corner and into center stage. Should we ever have a dinner party, we could take turns holding the washing up while we debate the rights and wrongs of water provision (see more at Water Aid).
We still use one or two plastic bowlfuls of water every time we wash up. In the summer this is tipped into a bucket and then goes out on the hedge or the bigger, thirstier plants. Once I even used it to douse flames on a skip fire in the street.
In the winter and also during this strange cold-warm spring (today it is snowing, two days ago it was 16C) the dirty dish water gets released down the plug hole.
Verdict: In certain countries that’s practically a criminal waste. Maybe we should use the dish water to flush the loo? At least that way it gets a second use.