Instinctively greens tend to believe that hand washing their dirty crocks must use less energy than a dishwasher. Think again. At least two scientific studies have found that a dishwasher will use less water than washing by hand thus saving the energy of heating up so much water.
Greens tend to only replace white goods once they are broken – I know I do. Again, this is not necessarily the right thing to do. The Life Cycle Engineering and Management Research Group at the University of New South Wales says that buying a new dishwasher which uses less water and energy than an older versions can be better. The improvement in performance more than eliminates the embedded energy of the new machine.
So what we feel instinctively should be green isn’t always the greenest thing to do.