Handwashing vs. Dishwasher: Which is Greener?

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We don't have a dishwasher. There are times when it would be really convenient, like when we have lots of people over for dinner or parties. But day to day we actually find washing dishes by hand to be somewhat relaxing and when our hands are cold, it's a nice way to warm up. But the question of whether we use more water and heat to handwash our dishes gnaws at us regularly. In a recent Treehugger post, this question was addressed. And the answer is...

The article concludes that in most cases, a dishwasher uses less water and less energy than washing by hand. That said, it also points out that under certain circumstances (e.g. washing only a few dishes at a time vs running a half empty dishwasher) handwashing might be more efficient.

For the full Treehugger article click here. And for those of you who don't have the option of using a dishwasher, check out this AT post about how to make handwashing your dishes more enjoyable and this post for AT reader tips on how to make handwashing more efficient.

Image: Flickr member Ratterrell licensed under Creative Commons