Another little thought about dish washing

Dish washing. Exciting stuff this weekend, isn’t it?

We have possibly the world’s most expensive dishwasher. At least it felt like that when we bought it, but to be fair it is amazing and super-efficient. According to Miele, it’s 10% more efficient than the EU energy efficiency class A+++. We were lucky to be able to afford it (bought in considerably less lean times than we are in these days).

I’ve finally researched, and found to be factual, my long-held assumption that dishwashers use less energy, water and soap than hand-washing. See also this Guardian article, which suggests that the carbon footprint calculation is slightly more marginal, and of course only applies if you run the dishwasher full and look after it so it lasts a long time. We run the Eco setting overnight, which is definitely the greenest option.

But – and here’s the fun bit – quite often at the end of the evening there’s still stuff to wash up that won’t fit in the dishwasher and it’s bloody annoying. So I thought that something which would help is to keep the same mug, teaspoon (3 cups of coffee a day here), water and squash glasses on the go all day. Which might mean there’s more space leftover for dinner pans and stuff, so less late night washing up.

I’m a genius, I know. Here’s a picture of Friday’s selection just to convince you.

(Also note the hidden implication here of non-plastic toddler crockery – virtuous bamboo can’t go in the dishwasher. Also the need to wash out all the recycling and the plastic that we put in the Ecobrick. Oooh what’s an Ecobrick, I hear you cry? Wait for it… or have a look at the website if you can’t wait.)

#SaturdaySwitch part 1

Welcome to Saturday Switch! (It’s got its own hashtag and everything).

My Dad just told me that my last post was too long, with unnecessary footnotes, and to remember that I’m not writing an MBA dissertation, so I will keep this brief.

Saturday switch is going to be an easy (ish) switch that we’ve made to a more eco-friendly product, which will also be a long-term cost saving.

These plastic scourers are bad news for the environment, essentially made of petroleum and 0% biodegradable, also leaking microplastics into the water. So cheap and so effective, but so toxic (also wrapped in non-recyclable plastic film).

We’ve replaced with a double pack of EuroScrubbys, which are made of cotton, are machine-washable and long-lasting and compostable when they reach the end of their lives. They’re very effective – not great on glasses, so we might add a loofah sponge to the washing up armoury in due course.

Admittedly we bought them on Amazon and they came wrapped in plastic, so not perfect – some better options here and alternative ideas here, I didn’t really research this fully enough before making the purchase.

Costings:

Two EcoScrubbys = £7.95, so £3.96 each.

Sainsbury’s non-scratch sponge scourers £1.00 for 6, 17p each.

Asda Smart Price scourers (cheapest I can find) 40p for 8, 5p each.

So assuming you’re using the cheapest plastic-based scourers and you change them once a week, the break-even point would be around 18 months. If you’re using the higher end products (also assuming weekly change), the break-even point would be just under six months.

So not actually a brilliant financial saving after all, but an ocean saver and a plastic free choice. Any thoughts?