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aquageek
July 19th, 2007, 01:10 PM
Need someone to resolve a family feud in the casa de Geek.

My wife says we should use paper plates as much as possible so as not to run the dishwasher as often, thus saving water. I say we should not use paper plates at all to save the trees (or whatever they are made from) and keep them out of landfills.

What is the correct environmental approach?

SwimStud
July 19th, 2007, 01:16 PM
Need someone to resolve a family feud in the casa de Geek.

My wife says we should use paper plates as much as possible so as not to run the dishwasher as often, thus saving water. I say we should not use paper plates at all to save the trees (or whatever they are made from) and keep them out of landfills.

What is the correct environmental approach?

www.google.com (http://www.google.com)
Search environmental impact paper plates dishwasher etc..

knelson
July 19th, 2007, 01:56 PM
Be sure to use low phosphate detergent in your DW.

ALM
July 19th, 2007, 02:55 PM
A Life-Cycle Analysis of paper plates vs. porcelain plates, done by a group (students, maybe?) in Sweden:

http://www.elmagn.chalmers.se/BioEMgroup/courses/mt/kurs01_02/abstract01/C6_01.pdf

Their conclusion (Page 9) favors porcelain plates.

--

ALM
July 19th, 2007, 03:12 PM
A lot of the environmental impact from disposable items comes from the need to continually transport them. Here is an interesting article, along those same lines, about the true "cost" of bottled water:

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0205-01.htm

As our esteemed webmaster has previously reprimanded me for printing the full text of an article, I will include only an excerpt:

...Tap water comes to us through an energy-efficient infrastructure whereas bottled water must be transported long distances--and nearly one-fourth of it across national borders--by boat, train, airplane, and truck. This ''involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels,'' Arnold said.

By way of example, in 2004 alone, a Helsinki company shipped 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water 4,300 kilometers (2,700 miles) to Saudi Arabia. And although 94 percent of the bottled water sold in the United States is produced domestically, some Americans import water shipped some 9,000 kilometers from Fiji and other faraway places to satisfy demand for what Arnold termed ''chic and exotic bottled water.''

More fossil fuels are used in packaging the water. Most water bottles are made with polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic derived from crude oil. ''Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year,'' Arnold said.

Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year.

Once it has been emptied, the bottle must be dumped. According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter. Incinerating used bottles produces toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals tied to a host of human and animal health problems. Buried water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.

Of the bottles deposited for recycling in 2004, the United States exported roughly 40 percent to destinations as far away as China--meaning that even more fossil fuels were burned in the process.

Meanwhile, communities from near which the water came in the first place risk running dry....

The Fortress
July 19th, 2007, 04:13 PM
Need someone to resolve a family feud in the casa de Geek.

My wife says we should use paper plates as much as possible so as not to run the dishwasher as often, thus saving water. I say we should not use paper plates at all to save the trees (or whatever they are made from) and keep them out of landfills.

What is the correct environmental approach?

I would have guessed that it would be better to use real plates and the dishwasher. Less trash for/transport to landfills. However, sometimes you just have to do what's convenient. If pressed for time and it's lunch or something, I'll use paper. But, for some reason, I can't stand eating dinner at night on paper plates. Ew. Unless you're having a big BBQ gathering or something.


Our most mundane family fueds involve loudness -- of action movies late at night and rap music.

Slowswim
July 19th, 2007, 04:31 PM
There was a study of the use of recycled paper . The conclusion was recycle paper = fewer trees.

The answer is that paper comes from tree farms. If a tree farmer can't sell tree, the farmer gets sold to anther business or development.

Paper is organic so paper in a landfill is not a bad thing per sa.:2cents:

New dishwashers are very efficient in water and power.

So the bottom line is that both of you are correct. paper plates and dishwashing are trade-offs and probably one is not superior to the other.

Which doesn't answer the question, who is right ...your wife, always! Best to:whiteflag:now and sleep in bed tonight.:rofl:
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Redbird Alum
July 19th, 2007, 04:58 PM
Dishwasher? You can always hand wash your porcelain plates using a non-phosphate detergent (more efficient than a DW) and then use the wash water/rinse water to water your indoor/outdoor plants.

This also helps you burn some of the calories you ate off the plates. If your mate assists, it also gets you some quality conversation time away from any electronic entertainment devices (saving some more energy created from fossil fuels).

scyfreestyler
July 19th, 2007, 05:45 PM
I say use as much water as possible.

ALM
July 19th, 2007, 06:21 PM
Dishwasher? You can always hand wash your porcelain plates using a non-phosphate detergent (more efficient than a DW)...


According to
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/everyday/greenhouse/tips.html:

Hand wash vs. Dishwasher: You'll use up to 35 percent
less water by doing a full load of dishes, which haven't
been pre-rinsed, in your dishwasher instead of by hand....

--

FindingMyInnerFish
July 19th, 2007, 06:40 PM
For true energy efficiency, fill a pool with water and nonphosphate detergent and swim your workout while washing dishes. :joker:

MichiganHusker
July 19th, 2007, 06:44 PM
I say use as much water as possible.

mmmmmmm, waaaaater (said like Homer Simpson).

newmastersswimmer
July 19th, 2007, 06:51 PM
Like Fortress, I both use my dishwasher and I use paper plates....BUT when I use paper plates it is usually to eat a sandwich or something in the living room ....and in that case I simply brush the crumbs off of the paper plate into the garbage can after I'm threw and I re-stack the paper plate in the used paper plate stack on top of the microwave....then I re-use it again several times over before I decide its time to throw it away......so even though it may sound a bit gross, I try and get multiple uses out of each paper plate I use.....We only use porcelain plates (and bowls) when it is necessary because the food I'm eating at the time would leave to much residue on the plate to simply brush off into the garbage. Hopefully this doesn't gross anyone out too much? LOL!

Bork

scyfreestyler
July 19th, 2007, 06:58 PM
We rarely use paper or plastic plates. Only when the number of guests exceeds our ceramic plate capacity will we bust out the Chinet. This week we have a full house of kids so the dishwasher is running everyday.

aquageek
July 19th, 2007, 07:18 PM
Hopefully this doesn't gross anyone out too much? LOL!

Bork

Honestly, that is kinda gross. Then again, I do reuse water bottles.

For the record, we do eat on real plates at dinner unless we're having a hoe down cookout with a lot of folks.

Got Boost
July 19th, 2007, 08:53 PM
I agree with slowswim, agree with your wife. My opinion, use both, but not together. I hate doing dishes, its my usual after dinner job and I hate running the trash so I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.
Got Boost

bud
July 20th, 2007, 02:51 PM
...What is the correct environmental approach?

I'd guess that a fully loaded dishwasher (and reducing landfill) is better than disposable plates, etc. in the long run. but as suggested, it may be better to agree w/the wife.

however...

i recently saw a blurb about a restaurant in Austin,TX that uses biodegradable utensils, cups (and lids and straws), and take out containers, etc. they supposedly turn to dirt in 30 days! some patrons take them home (even when they dine in) to toss in their composters.

they also buy local produce etc. not only to deliver fresh products, but also to reduce fuel usage.

see:
http://www.leafsalad.com/
Leaf
419 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 474-5323


Jayhawk, thanks for the article and highlights about the true "cost" of bottled water.

Blackbeard's Peg
July 23rd, 2007, 09:48 AM
Geek - for the ultra-enviro-friendly approach:
Drink beverages straight from the carton
eat straight from your hands
and when you need to wash your hands, use Purell (or other instant hand sanitizer).

no glasses, no plates, no dishwasher, no dish soap, no soap, no water.

Oh, and Cheryl Crow wants you to use only one square of TP too.

islandsox
July 23rd, 2007, 10:31 AM
I felt like I was in Fantasy Land reading about dishwashers, recycling plastic products, bottled & non-bottled water.

All drinking water here is in 5 gallon jugs of which we use use 3 or 4 a week due to my high water consumption. I use ceramic or hard plastic dishes and have no dishwasher, so all are done by hand. I'm not sure I have even seen a paper plate here. But Honduras is not environmentally interested in saving the planet; it's the "me" syndrome all the way here. You ought to see what they dump in the ocean when building condos!

I have to say ceramic plates, hand wash because I know of no other way to do it! But if I had a dishwasher, would there be any savings to doing "light loads" vs full dishwasher?

The Fortress
July 23rd, 2007, 03:35 PM
Oh, and Cheryl Crow wants you to use only one square of TP too.

She's free to do so, but no thanks. At least she doesn't swim. If she doesn't waste enough soap and water afterward, she'd contaminate and close all our pools.

My husband does not follow this policy of always agreeing with the wife. Maybe I should have him read this thread. LOL.

3strokes
July 23rd, 2007, 03:59 PM
I felt like I was in Fantasy Land reading about dishwashers, recycling plastic products, bottled & non-bottled water.

<.....snip.........>

I have to say ceramic plates, hand wash because I know of no other way to do it!

You could kill two birds with one stone, Donna. Pack your dirty dishes in a mesh bag and take it with you on your swims. (Better than any tethers). Half an hour in high seas and you would have had a three hours' worth workout and (+or-) clean(er) dishes.
;)

Slowswim
July 23rd, 2007, 04:07 PM
My husband does not follow this policy of always agreeing with the wife. Maybe I should have him read this thread. LOL.

:notworthy: He's my hero.

poolraat
July 23rd, 2007, 04:32 PM
My husband does not follow this policy of always agreeing with the wife. Maybe I should have him read this thread. LOL.


You just haven't trained him right. lol
I must admit that I'm not very well trained either.