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Paper plates/dishwasher

I was thinking...what is worse for the environment the paper/plastic plates which cause trash or running the dishwasher every 2nd day (4person household)?
I was convinced the paper/plastic plates are the bad guys..but i dont know how much water a dishwasher is using...
your opinions on that?


Asked by Davina85 at 4:24 PM on Feb. 11, 2011 in Home & Garden

Level 11 (607 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • The detergents that are used now are far safer than those used during our parent's and grandparent's generations. And a newer dishwasher is extremely energy and water efficient and much better for the environment than paper or plastic products especially if you take in to consideration the PRODUCTION process of paper and plastic products. A good set of ceramic or potter dishes use far use chemicals than paper or plastic productions and can be reused time and time again.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 5:08 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • I go for the dishwasher - we run ours typically once a day. And mine has a timer so after we put away evening dishes I set the timer and it runs while we are asleep. I found that its better to do it at that time because most people are not consuming much energy then. Personally I hate paper plates. My MIL uses them for EVERYTHING and it is a bit of a turn off.


    Answer by csmsand at 4:27 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • I THINK if you're running the dishwasher only when it's completely full (like not running half a load), then that's the best option.

    Answer by AdensMama0308 at 4:25 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • I would think the paper plates would be worse, especially if you have an energy efficient dish washer.


    Answer by scout_mom at 4:25 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • The dishwasher is better. The dishwasher is also better than handwashing dishes these days.

    Answer by misses_nick at 5:33 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • yeah i prefer the dishwasher,too.and ,funny, my mil uses them for everything too. people keep looking at me funny when i say we dont have paper plates..i have enough regular plates to serve a party (thanks to my mom..she gave me her old set)lol

    Comment by Davina85 (original poster) at 4:30 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • The one factor that can make the dishwasher the worst option is the type of soap you are using. Those containing phosphates, chlorine or petroleum based products are doing far more harm to the enviroment than a paper plate.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 4:35 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • My dad always uses paper plates but he also reuses them (if they aren't all just crumbs or a few specks of food) so I guess he's thinking of the environment there, lol. I grew up with paper plates since we didn't have a dishwasher and once we got one it was just habit to have paper plates.
    We just moved away from my dad and don't use them any more because, 1, we can't afford to keep them in the house and, 2, it seemed like a lot of waste. We have a nice dishwasher (the one my dad had for 18 years was from the 70s and was definitely not energy or water efficient, lol). With 7 people in the family I run the dishwasher once a day (completely full). It wastes a lot less water than doing them by hand.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:57 AM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • Dishwasher is better as long as you do a full load.


    Answer by HomeAlone45 at 10:41 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I love my paper plates and will not ever give them up.....the dishwasher uses a fair amount of water..just like the washer we're users of it all in my opinion..but we have to live.

    Answer by prettyinink2011 at 4:26 PM on Feb. 11, 2011