The Dirt On My Dishes

May 28, 2008 at 8:08 pm Leave a comment

Water Running at My Kitchen Sink“Canada is home to 7 per cent of the world’s fresh water supply, but we are second only to the United States in water use per person, which places us among the worst water-wasters in the world.” ~The Council of Canadians

I admit that we take for granted the fresh water that freely flows from the faucets and shower in our home; we are not good stewards of that water. Take for example, how I used to wash the dishes. I have two sinks: one holds my dish rack for drying dishes and the other is where I wash and rinse all my dishes. I used to crank on the hot water and with it running, I would wash and then rinse them one at a time. Then I’d transfer them to the other side to dry.

At that rate, I calculated that I was using an astounding 250 litres per day for dishes! Which equates to 91,000 litres per year.

Curious to know how much is coming out of your taps? Some faucets and shower heads will have the actual flow rate imprinted on it. I found mine on the end of the kitchen spout.

It was only recently that I changed my dishwashing technique. I don’t let the water run continuously and I am more conscientious about how much water I am using. I lather up my scrubbie and leave the tap off until I am ready to rinse. I do have to admit that this still isn’t the most water-conserving way to do my dishes, but I am working on it.

Some tips on washing dishes:

  • soak your pots instead of scrubbing them while you rinse
  • fill up the sink to rinse your dishes instead of running them under the tap
  • install an aerator on your faucet – which can save up to 50% in water usage
  • fully load the dishwasher – regardless of the size of your load the same amount of water is used and in general a dishwasher uses less water than hand washing

Did you know that the average Canadian’s water usage is 125,000 litres of water per person per year? Use this quick and easy calculator to see how you measure up.

How do you do your dishes? What is your technique?



Entry filed under: Greener options. Tags: , , , , .

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