Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Dirty Green Plates

Doh:

The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don’t work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation’s strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.

But it’s not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe’s left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.

As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds.

...

Phosphates - the main cleaning agent in many detergents and household cleaners - break down grease and remove stains. However, the chemicals are difficult to remove in wastewater treatment plants and often wind up in rivers and lakes, where they promote the growth of algae. And algae gobble up oxygen in the water that fish need to survive.

While traditional detergents are up to 9 percent phosphate, those sold in Spokane County can contain no more than 0.5 percent.

The Washington Lake Protection Association has launched a campaign to encourage people to give the environmentally friendly brands a fair chance. The group suggests consumers experiment with different brands or install water softeners to help the green detergents work better.

I love that last bit—drop a couple of grand on a water softener just so you can wash your dishes.

To save the lakes, the enviros are getting people to get in a car, drive to another state and buy detergent that actually fricking works.  Alternatively, they can use even more water washing their dishes by hand.

So much easier to ban something than figure out an alternative.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 03/29/09 at 07:02 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by HARLEY on 03/29/09 at 08:33 PM from United States

Another reason Bans never work.
I also wonder how much bigger their carbon footprint is with them having to drive further to get a better cleaner.?

Speaking of dirty things, i looks like the Obama administration is stackng town halls with their own people.
so much for CHANGE!

Posted by on 03/29/09 at 09:14 PM from Germany

Speaking of dirty things, i looks like the Obama administration is stackng town halls with their own people.
so much for CHANGE!

Can’t be “green” without watering your “plants.”

Posted by on 03/30/09 at 07:47 AM from United States

Are we talking about that “Twenty Mule Team Borax”?

Posted by on 03/30/09 at 07:56 AM from United States

I work for a major chemical company that formulates using replacements for phosphates in autodish and can unequivocally say that there is no total replacement out there that works as well.  We have some really good chemicals (they are called “builders” by the industry) in the pipeline, but they are much more expensive and not naturally ocurring.  Remember:  Phosphates occur NATRUALLY and they literally dig the stuff out of the ground to sell it after minor purification.  Just like things like asbestos and baking soda.

Posted by on 03/30/09 at 01:14 PM from Germany

I run into similar situations in manufacturing all the time; no more lead solder - only, the replacement isn’t worth a crap, so everyone applies for an exemption, or no more cleaning with acetone, but the substitute leaves so much residue behind that customers won’t accept the material.

Green = the stupid

Posted by HARLEY on 03/30/09 at 02:29 PM from United States

which compound you using the copper or bismuth compunds?

getting a lot of whiskers are ya?

Posted by InsipiD on 03/30/09 at 02:55 PM from United States

getting a lot of whiskers are ya?

I would like to know exactly how that happens, though I can vouch for the fact that it does.

Posted by HARLEY on 03/30/09 at 03:05 PM from United States

I would like to know exactly how that happens, though I can vouch for the fact that it does.

all i know is certain metals, liek used in soldiering, when under physical stress, g loads or such, actually generate very very fine “wires” off of the main mass…
Im not sure how the metals generate them, through migration of ions, or single atoms, but the whiskers do realive some stress off of the main body.
maybe SO can explain better.

Posted by mikeguas on 03/30/09 at 06:56 PM from United States

The group suggests consumers experiment with different brands or install water softeners to help the green detergents work better.

There you go, promote water softeners, which use salt, which gets dumped and can cause environmental hazards of its own. There are a few that don’t use it, but they don’t take the hardening contents out of the water, and their effectiveness is questionable at best. Typical of the environmentalist crowd, they’ll encourage you to use an alternative method just as potentially dangerous, and when it hits the main stream, they’ll demonize it. Like Ethanol. If everyone starts buying water softeners, I guarantee these same groups who promoted it would be demanding a tax on it a few years down the road.

How long will people continue to be suckered into this shit? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see rivers spontaneously combusting or anything like that, but a lot of this help the environment crap is not about helping the environment. It’s about attacking wealth and building power for these groups.

And Hal, I hope you post more of these on your own blog.

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