Photo: ThinkstockBy Rachel Z. Arndt
Which is greener, printed books or e-Readers? Plastic wrap or aluminum foil? The answers will surprise you.
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Washing by Hand vs. Dishwasher
Laboring at the sink with a sponge must be better than using that energy guzzler under the counter.
A dishwasher is something most folks are not-incredibly efficient. It can save up to 5,000 gallons of water per year compared with scrubbing by hand. That's because it uses roughly five gallons per load, about one-fifth the amount most people use at the sink. And when less water is needed, your home's hot-water heater uses less energy.
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Just make sure you don't prerinse, which can squander an extra 20 gallons of water; don't run the machine with only a few dishes inside; and skip settings-like heat-dry or rinse-hold-that are stronger than necessary.
Look for phosphate-free detergent brands.