Why is it Better for the Environment to Run a Dishwasher Instead of Sink Washing Dishes?
Alex "Solar Girl" Steele
What do you think is more water-efficient, using an old-fashioned sink or a dishwasher to clean up after cooking a big meal? You might think washing up in a sink would be less wasteful, since it’s a small basin and you only run the water for a few minutes. But you’d be surprised! In 2011, the University of Bonn conducted a study which determined that the average hand-washed load of dishes uses a whopping 40 gallons of water and 3.5kWh of electricity! Another organization calculated that hand-washing 10 loads of dishes in the sink uses more energy than it takes to produce a modern dishwasher. So, there’s plenty of good reasons to swap to a dishwasher over hand-washing. Not only is it more convenient and kinder to your hands, it’s also better for your wallet and the environment!
There are many appliances around the house that can act as life-hacks for saving water, money, and energy. Energy Star, a program run by the EPA and the Department of Energy, promotes the best energy-saving products and appliances after submitting them to strict testing standards. We wanted to learn more about their top recommendations for conserving resources, and share them with you! In addition to relying on a dishwasher for kitchen chores, Energy Star has a list of other appliances you can consider switching to if you want to cut down on water consumption or shave your utility bills.
Toilet flushing is the most water-intensive action taken in your home, accounting for about 26% of household water consumption. The older the toilet, the more water it uses per flush. Older toilets can waste between 5-7 gallons every time you flush, while newer ones typically use less than 2 gallons! Updating your bathroom appliances can save your household $100-$200 a year, depending when your house was built and the age of the toilets already there.
Energy Star rated washing machines second only to toilets as the most water-demanding appliances in a home. Standard washing machines use about 20 gallons of water per load, while newer ones use only 14 gallons per load. Washers that are older than 10 years old are the biggest water and electricity hogs, and cost a household nearly $200 a year to operate. Upgrading to a newer washing machine for your laundry needs can save up to 2,000 gallons of water annually!
Faucets and Showerheads
The EPA recommends looking out for the WaterSense label when you’re shopping around for a new faucet or showerhead setup. These appliances can filter and moderate water pressure to cut down on total consumption without impacting your ability to enjoy a relaxing shower or bath. The WaterSense testing process is a third-party assessment to ensure that an appliance saves at least 20% more water than a comparable product, while performing just as well and contributing to national water conservation efforts.
If you’re curious about ways to improve the efficiency of your water consumption around the house, consulting Energy Star, the EPA’s website, and the WaterSense label can help you navigate the world of water-conscious products. When the time comes to have them installed, don’t risk a poor job with other plumbers. Call up Aqua Wolf Plumbing to have your new earth-friendly appliances installed properly the first time!