Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Effective Eco Actions-Water Usage

As a mama going green, we often wonder which choices to make that will be the most effective and friendly to the earth. Cloth vs disposable, hand wash vs dishwasher, clothesline vs dryer, and on and on! It can be a bit overwhelming, so I thought I'd start a series this week tackling some of the most common decisions we face day to day, and examining which choices will make the biggest impact on the environment. I wanted to start out with our household water usages.

Photo taken by Hypergurl

First lets start with the most frequent chore in my household, Dishes! Over at Mom Goes Green, Doreen examined the long held notion that washing dishes by hand would use less water than an automatic dishwasher. But we find out that this is simply NOT true! Especially with the ultra efficient dishwashers out there, the amount of water usage is actually only a sixth, and the energy only 1/2! Now, it's possible if you are just 2 people in a household, that the responsible handwasher would be more efficient than running the dishwasher. However, with a 6 person family like mine, we fill the dishwasher to the brim at least once a day, and handwashing is just simply not efficient. Glad I don't have to have eco-guilt about this one!

We not only use water and energy when we wash our dishes though. We also use DETERGENT. If you have not switched to a non-toxic and non-polluting kind yet, SWITCH! The automatic dish detergents are the only products still allowed to contain phosphates. These are proven to kill fish, and produce dead zones in water ways by spurring algae to overgrow and depleting oxygen. Also, many conventional cleaning products have surfactants that are petroleum based, do not biodegrade for a very long time, and pollute our water supply. Safe choices we have used with success, listed in order of preference:

Shaklee's Get Clean Automatic Dish Detergent
Ecover Tablets
BioKleen Dish Powder

Join us tomorrow as we tackle more household water uses, and how to be the most effective with your eco-concience.

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