Switch to Paper Plates! Again, you may think I have lost my mind, but just follow this logic.
Here in the United States, many rental apartments are now charging for your water usage. In fact, many communities are penalizing people who do not conserve water by adding a tiered pricing scheme based on previous years usage.
If you do not reduce you usage by a certain percentage, you pay a higher rate on all water used above a baseline set by the water company. The same pricing arrangement is also being used for gas and electricity.
Let’s say you wash your dishes in a dish washer. You pay for the water. You pay for the electricity that runs the pump and electronics in the washer. You also pay for the electricity or gas used to heat the water. Trust me, you do not want to wash dishes in cold water because you will not kill the bacteria.
If you wash dishes by hand, you save on the electricity for the motor, but you still pay for the energy to heat the water. On top of that, your hands cannot stand the temperature needed to kill the bacteria. Also, you will probably use more water than the dishwasher does, unless you use not-so-clean water for the rinse.
So conserve water, gas and electric and use paper plates. You also eliminate plate-borne bacteria.
Biodegradable and compost-able paper plates are readily available and are relatively inexpensive ($0.13 per plate). A quick search of the internet revealed a bunch of places selling them. Take a look at these 10” round bagasse (sugar cane) plates.
This leads us to the next step: composting. Instead of throwing out those used plates in the trash (although they will dissolve at the trash dump), recover some of their cost by creating a compost heap with your food scraps, leaves, garden trimmings, pulled weeds, and of course, the biodegradable compost-able paper plates.
You might ask how this recovers some of the cost of the paper plates. Stay tuned for part 3 and find out.