Chores the eco friendly way: Dishes edition

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Back in California I live with 63 other people. It’s called a “co-op” (cooperative housing for students) and we share all of the household responsibilities. With the absence of dishwashers in many Parisian flats I would like to share a technique I learned when having to wash dishes for two hours straight (and still not finish the pile). We use a lot of water when we wash dishes and I’m sure you have had a party at your place where the clean up was a nightmare. These tips will save water and will also make your time go quicker.

  1. When you cook something in a pot or pan, take it to your sink and let it sit with hot water in it. This way, even if you don’t want to clean it right away the little bit of hot water will save you a lot of scrubbing when you do get to it.
  2. Organize your dirty dishes by like things. Stack the plates, put pots together, and wash all of the utensils in one go. This itemization makes things go quicker (or so I’ve found) because the items require similar processes of washing and you can make a routine of it.
  3. Speaking of routines try putting all of your dirty, un-scrubbed dishes on the far left side of the sink. As you move through them save some water and only do the scrubbing first. Don’t rinse them off individually and put soapy dishes in the second basin of the sink. When all of the dishes are scrubbed and soapy THEN you rinse them. This will save you water because this way your water doesn’t have to be running the whole time.

It’s not the most fun task in the world but we all have to do it and this way it’ll be both easier and better for the environment. Happy scrubbing!


-Sasha Marie Helton


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