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It is important to always keep looking for ways to live a more sustainable life. Whether it’s using a swedish rag, switching to a bidet, or using an electric lawn mower, there are always ways to make your daily life greener.
One area where it is easy to reduce exposure is the kitchen sink. Not only does dishwashing generate plastic waste from all the soap bottles you use, but things like water usage, microplastics in sponges, and even dishwashing detergent ingredients can have an impact on the environment. That’s why we turned to some experts to learn how to change your daily life and wash dishes in a more sustainable way.
“Few household chores can be done without waste, and dishwashing is no exception,” says Alex Wojensky, cleaning guide for the Grove Collaborative. “Hand washing dishes and using the dishwasher waste water. Water requires energy to get into our homes.” “After use, it needs to be heated and cleaned. Using more leads to the need to create more, which in turn disrupts the water supply over time.”
A dishwasher is the first choice, but it depends on how much you actually wash, says Jim Hutchison, senior vice president of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oregon and co-founder of Defunkify. “If you’re running a very efficient dishwasher at full capacity, you’re probably using the least amount of water,” Hutchison said, “however, if you’re only washing a few dishes, hand washing can compete.” According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), washing dishes by hand can take anywhere from 9 to 27 gallons of water, depending on your efficiency, compared to a New Energy Star dishwasher that uses 6 gallons or less. So if you have a new dishwasher, the best way to save water is to fill it up and use it.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, or need to wash those pesky items that can’t be washed in a dishwasher, Hutchison has some hand washing tips. The most important thing, he says, is to use as little water as possible. “The best handwashing strategy is to prepare a small amount of soapy water, wash all the dishes, and then rinse them at the end,” he said. “Whether it’s in the dishwasher or by hand washing, scraping and washing dishes immediately after use usually allows you to use less soap and water to clean them.”
Wozhensky agrees with these recommendations, but cautions against rinsing dishes before loading them into the machine. “Rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher can do more harm than good,” she says. “While scraping any large pieces of food is necessary to avoid clogging the dishwasher, they are designed to handle food waste and actually have built-in sensors to judge how much cleaning power is needed and whether the dishes need to be rinsed before loading. washing dishes The machine will not work and dishes that have not been washed well may be returned.”
When washing by hand, Wozhensky recommends using the sink to save as much water as possible. “Fill the sink with warm water and a little dish soap until it’s frothy, then submerge the plate in the water,” she says. “Pull one at a time, then rinse with hot water on the other side of the sink or in a bucket. Washing light to heavy is best for this method so that the residue of the dirty dish does not contaminate the clean plate.”
Another problem with the dishwashing process, Hutchison says, is that the soap you use can end up in the environment. “Not all soaps are the same,” he said. “There is often a balance between efficiency, environmental impact and cost.” In fact, traditional dishwashing liquids contain many ingredients that are not only harmful to the environment, but also dangerous to humans.
To avoid these harmful ingredients, Wojensky says, it’s important to do your research and find out what’s in the soap you’re using. “Independent certification and verification can be used to validate environmental claims,” she said. “Real green companies and products will be open about how they achieve their goals and will have the information available to express it.” ) Examination. Check out the EPA’s list of safer dishwashing detergents and the EWG’s reviewed list.
Once you’ve chosen your dishwashing detergent, it’s also important to apply only the right amount so that it lasts as long as possible. “In most cases, more dishwashing detergent is dispensed than needed, and it ends up going down the drain,” Wojenski said. “Consciously applying a small amount of soap at a time will extend the life of the bottle. I like to reapply soap only when it doesn’t lather.”
One ingredient to look out for is polyvinyl alcohol (PVA or PVOH). The material is actually a thin, soluble plastic that many dishwasher and washing machine detergent boxes are made from. There are some mixed studies on the sustainability of these films, as past studies have shown PVA to be 60% biodegradable within the first 28 days, but one study found negligible biodegradability among the three different common PVAs tested, except for.
Having arranged water and soap, pay attention to the material and packaging of dishwashing detergents. “Traditional soap is used. That’s why it’s important to look for products with small plastic packaging so you can recycle or compost your waste.
“Look for products packaged with easily recyclable materials like paper and aluminum, rather than single-use plastic,” Wozhensky said. “If possible, also look for products and packaging that can be composted after use.” After reviewing the ingredients, see if the soap you are interested in comes in low-waste packaging. Many brands such as Blueland, Dropps and Cleancult sell glass containers and soap fillers in recyclable or compostable packaging.
Another important product that you should replace is your sponge. “Standard household sponges are made from polyurethane foam and use hydrocarbons in their manufacturing process,” Wojenski said. “Most dishwashing detergents, brushes, detergents and other dish cleaning supplies are also made or made from single-use plastics that are less than 9 percent recycled.” Sponges also remove microscopic particles after each use. into your water, and since experts recommend replacing them weekly due to bacteria, that means there will be more plastic in our landfills. Opting for no-waste options like compostable cutlery brushes is our favorite way to ditch the sponge.
“Moreover, taking care of our products can make them more efficient and last longer,” Wojenski says. “Let’s dry the dishwashing supplies between uses, this will prevent bacterial growth. Frequent sponge disinfection – simply wetting the sponge and placing it in the microwave for two minutes – ensures that we use clean tools.”
These EWG-certified dishwasher capsules come in plastic-free packaging and are made from vegan plant-based ingredients.
Another EWG-tested option, this cleanser from Defunkify also comes in plastic-free packaging. Check out the full list of EWG ingredients here.
Blueland is one of the leading names in sustainable cleaning, and for good reason. The brand’s Dish Duo comes labeled with Powdered Dishwashing Liquid and Dishwasher Detergent (not wrapped in PVA), EPA certified Safer Choice, Cradle to Cradle and Leaping Bunny (cruelty free). The dishwashing tablets are also EWG certified, which you can find here.
Dropps Dishwasher Capsules are available in three flavors, formulated with pure and effective ingredients. Also, the plastic-free box they supply has a built-in child lock, so it can easily be used as storage space.
If you’re washing your hands, check out the seventh-generation EPA-certified Safer Choice Dishwashing Liquid, which has a powerful plant-based formula and comes in a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic.
If you already have a soap bottle, stop buying a new one and just fill it up with this replacement soap from Cleancult. Cleancult uses a coconut-based formula for effective cleaning, and the cartons included in the replacement cartridges are 100% recyclable.
One of the few EWG-certified hand sanitizers, this dishwashing liquid from Attitude uses a plant-based cleaning formula and comes in a refillable bottle.
“Using dish soap bars is another great eco-friendly alternative to dishwashing because it’s easier to control how much soap you use each time you use it,” Wojenski says. This bar from Grove comes with a small bamboo stand to help your soap last as long as possible.
Replace your sponge with this compostable disc brush. It is made from beech wood and tampico so it can be composted at the end of its life. In addition, the heads are interchangeable, so you can buy a replacement brush every time instead of a new one. Check out our full review of this plastic saving brush here.
Bottles are a hassle to clean, but this compostable bottle brush makes it easy. The flexible fibers are suitable for finishing most bottles (although probably not very thin), and the long handle makes it easy to wipe off any stickiness.
Choose this one if you like the feel of a traditional sponge, it’s made from 100% natural cellulose.
“You don’t have to turn on the faucet to use the Bubble Up Liquid Soap Dispenser,” Wozhensky says. “It produces soapy water and uses super-soft bristles for the hard work, so just a quick wash with hot water is enough.”
For tough, sticky products, we really like this scraper from Oxo. It’s made from three different materials with varying hardness, so you can safely clean everything from delicate non-stick pans to cast iron and grills.
This dishwashing brush with stiff bristles will help you clean food residue from pots and pans. It is made from beech wood, coconut fiber and palm fiber and is fully compostable at the end of its life.
“The European-style dishwasher is a must-have for my dishes and kitchen, perfect for storing water and making it easier to wash dishes,” Wojenski says. “It’s also made from biodegradable cellulose and cotton, which can be composted at an industrial facility when they become unusable. Personally, I like to put them in the kitchen when I no longer have room for them, before thoroughly cleaning and composting. My bathroom the room is clean.”
It’s no secret that we love reusable fabrics too. Our favorites are these Swedish napkins, which are often discounted. Check out our full overview of the most popular fabrics here.
After all the dishes are washed, you will also need an easy way to dry them. This cutlery rack has two levels and a cutlery shelf so you can place all your plates in it. Just glue the dish mat on the bottom and you’re done.
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Post time: Aug-20-2022