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Day 13: Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Our dishwasher quietly slipped away. It was a shock. There was no indication that it was even sick. One evening, I pushed the ON button and was met with silence.

My husband took its demise with less grumbling than I, and reminded me that for the first eight years of our marriage we survived without a dishwasher. Still, I swore we would replace it ASAP.

How quickly time flies. I had every intention of replacing the dishwasher. But we could never find quite the right size without needing to cut a larger hole in the cabinetry, or else our money was needed elsewhere.

Last night, while hand washing the dinner dishes I realized that a year had passed and the dishwasher was still non-operational. Apparently it isn't as critical an appliance as I had once thought.

So, I started wondering about which was the more eco-friendly choice: hand washing or using a dishwasher? I've seen arguments for both sides.

The new model dishwashers use less water than those of the past, and some studies have shown that dishwashers actually use less water than hand washing. (However, if you are running less that full loads you negate this savings.) Obviously, dishwashers use more energy than hand washing.

We decided to forgo replacing the dishwasher. For our situation, it really is the more eco-friendly choice. We're careful with water use anyway, especially because all our water comes from our well. And because we have a solar water heater, no energy is used when hand washing.

Even though we've been hand washing the dishes for a year, it was still a big decision for me to say No More to the dishwasher. But I know it's the right choice.

As for the whole left behind by the non-existent dishwasher, I've decided to turn it into a compost / recycling cabinet.

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