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:
We wash up by hand. The research says that hand washing is more wasteful of power and water than an electric dishwasher. I guess it depends how you do the dishes, and whether you leave the tap running as a rinse aid. I defy any household to avoid all washing up (how do you do saucepans, coffee pots, wooden spoons etc?) but I do admit that a washing up machine guarantees a tidier look to your kitchen as it makes sure the dirty dishes are out of sight.
It also means you don't get dishwater hands - or the problem of what to do with rubber gloves when they develop holes at the ends. As you can see from the pic we had a go reusing this leaky left hander. The cuff has been cut into rubber bands (a tip I read in The Guardian) and helps me identify the plastic jar we use to decant coffee beans into so not all my containers are filled with coffee aroma. But my star invention has to be turning the fingers of the glove into a bit of Oud (you need to watch Dr Who to know about Ouds) and stick it into the kids' dressing up box.
Verdict: Creative - yes. Beautiful - no. Useful - only if you love Dr Who or dressing up.