Articles Posted in the Lifestyle category

Do you have to have dishwasher hands to be green?

March 27, 2008
Posted in Lifestyle

dishwasher.jpgThere have been ads on TV lately promoting dishwashers as more energy efficient than hand washing – I took that information with a pinch of salt, coming from the appliance manufacturers as it did. But something on the Friends of the Earth website has made me take another look at the issue.

It says that research verified by the University of Bonn puts the average household water usage at 60 litres for two or three hand washes a day, while a new dishwasher typically uses 12 litres per wash. Assuming that middle-class South Africans use about the same amount of water to wash up as Europeans. This would seem to be a significant water saving.

The environmental group does point out that

What this doesn’t take into account, however, is the total energy used to manufacture the dishwasher, the transport costs and raw materials used or hand-washing habits.

You’d need to use your dishwasher’s eco-setting, of course. And, alas, environment-friendly plant-based products to use in dishwashers just don’t seem to be available in South Africa. Perhaps this is a gap in the market someone will step in to soon, though. But just maybe you don’t need to be elbow-deep in dishwater to be green after all.

For more information about dishwashers and water usage, FOE points to

Make a change: Green tip #8

March 9, 2008
Posted in Green tips, Lifestyle

handkerchief.jpgWhen I was a child, the standard birthday gift for fathers was socks or cotton handkerchiefs. Adult men could be relied upon to have one on hand in an emergency. But nowadays everybody seems to carry tissues, which are more convenient when you have a cold, but you can’t embroider your initials on them or scent them with lavendar to sniff delicately when you have a headache now, can you?

The world uses 25-million metric tons of tissue each year and much of it is wasted, according to the Environmental Paper Network. This means that every day, so much tissue is used that it could stretch all the way to the moon and back. (This does include loo paper as well as facial tissue.)

So save a few trees and avoid unnecessary packaging by replacing packets of disposal tissues with some cotton handkerchiefs.


Via :: Friends of the Earth