Every individual, household and business should want to reduce their carbon footprint. This will ensure a better future for our grandchildren and indeed the whole planet. But in a world of conflicting information and a data overload, sometimes it’s hard to know whether or not you are doing the right thing. One question many people have is whether washing-up your dishes by hand or using a dishwasher leaves a greater carbon footprint. Read on for a surprising answer.
The actual statistics for the amount of carbon emitted from different methods of washing up are as follows:
0 CO2e – hand washing in cold water
540g CO2e – handwashing, using sparingly warm water
770g CO2e – dishwasher, 55°C
990g CO2e – dishwasher, 65°C
8,000g CO2e – handwashing, running hot water
At first glance the washing-up team have it, with the chance to leave a carbon footprint of virtually nothing. However when we analyse this data more carefully, all is not what it seems. First of all, by using cold water your plates are unlikely to be cleaned sufficiently and therefore represent a hygiene risk to your household. In fact this risk will still exist with those using warm water sparingly. The majority of people that wash-up by hand do so with excessive amounts of running hot water and are therefore leaving a far greater carbon footprint than those who do a dishwasher load on a 55 degree or lower setting.
Handwashing sees water heated normally from a boiler, whereas dishwasher water is heated by electricity. This would normally be an argument for the former as this generates less energy waste, however a dishwasher limits the amount of water it uses, which more often than not actually makes it the more eco-friendly choice. A dishwasher invariably cleans your dishes better and also takes a quarter of the time to load than you would spend washing-up.
Buying the Right Dishwasher
When it comes to buying a dishwasher, not everything is equal. For commercial premises, commercial warewashers from a company such as www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/ will be the most efficient choice, but for households there are many options and features to consider.
So there you have it – the surprising answer is that using a dishwashing may actually be better for the environment than washing-up by hand.