This might be the most important blog post I will ever write here on the blog. I ask everyone to link to it, stumble it, digg it, do anything you can to get this post in front of people – the more people who read it, the more likely they will throw out their old – and NEW – top load washing machines which are wasting an incredible amount of water – and hopefully some of those people will begin to pester their political candidates about outlawing these machines entirely.
The Truth Hurts –
I’m sure people who own top load washing machines will be upset when they read this. Don’t blame yourself – you were not educated properly – you did not know most of what I am about to tell you. I’m sorry that you bought a top load machine. I’m sorry that it is *legal* for you to buy a top load machine. It should not be, and I’m about to tell you why.
Many Salespeople Take The Route Of Least Resistance
I’ve mentioned before that I worked in sales for a long time. Over the years I would have sold over a hundred thousand washing machines at least. As the years went by the percentage of machines which were front load became higher and higher – yet there were still people who wanted to buy top load washing machines. A lot of salespeople would simply ask “what kind of machine do you want” and if top load was the answer they never mentioned anything about front loaders.
But Not Me –
I never took the easy road on this topic because it did not sit well with my conscience – I always pointed out the following –
- Top load washing machines use 2-3 times the water a front loader uses.
- We’re not talking a small difference – the average top load uses 150-200 litres of water per wash. A front load uses between 40-80 litres of water.
- Front Load washers are less harsh on your clothes.
- Front Load washers clean your clothes better.
- Front Load washers use less detergent – and there are models on the market where you DO NOT NEED to use detergent AT ALL, though you rarely get that information given to you.
- Top Loader manufacturers do some tricky things to make their machines seem to be using less water than it truly does.
And yet after all that some people still wanted to purchase a brand new top load washing machine which would sit in their home wasting water for the next 2-20 years. Is it any wonder we have a water problem here in this country?
This Allergy May Come To You As A Surprise –
If you have a family member who is allergic to “detergent” and you’re washing with a top load? Chances are they’re not allergic to detergent at all. They’re probably allergic to the dust, dirt, pollen and various other particles which are trapped within the fibres of your clothes. They’re getting a rash because their clothes are not clean – even though they *look* clean to the human eye.
How Top Loads Wash –
Your top load machine takes your clothes and “agitates” them around, trying to get the dirt out of the clothes. Once it has done this, it drains the water – complete with dirt and detergent – back through your clothes, essentially using your clothes as a filter. All the dirt and detergent ends up back in your clothes. It then fills up for another rinse – and then does the exact same thing. All that machine does is move dirt and detergent around, breaking the dirt up to make it smaller so you can’t see it. You are essentially wearing filth. How do you like them apples?
The “Eco” Option –
Some top load machines now offer an “eco” option. The eco option usually means that once the wash water is spun out, it keeps the bowl spinning holding the clothes against the side of the bowl while spraying water onto the clothes from the inside. The theory of this is the water then gets pushed through the clothes due to the spinning action and rinsing out the dirt and detergent.
Of course this theory may fail if you have items of clothing that don’t allow the water to flow through – clothes stuck behind those articles would not be rinsed at all. This option uses 1/3 of the water normally used to rinse the clothes. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this option is something you would want to use – it is not very realistic to expect consumers to use it if their clothes don’t come out clean.
Some of the excuses people give for not buying a front load are simply laughable. People say things like –
It’s More Bending For Me And My Back Can’t Take It
Actually, it is LESS bending if you purchase a stand for the machine to sit on. If you place the machine on a cupboard (usually around $199-350 from most electrical retailers) you can stand straight, put your clothes basket below the opening and simply pull the clothes out, letting them fall into the basket.
Alternatively, you can do what I did almost for free, put a fluffy rug on the floor and get down on your knees to pull the washing out. Your back will be perfectly straight. The only thing bending in both the examples I just gave will be your arm as you pull the clothes out.
To get things out of your top load you have to reach down into it, which is a different kind of bending all together. You then have to lift wet, heavy items up, out, and into the washing basket. Ask your chiropractor how good that is for your back!
A Top Loader Is What I’m Used To –
Battered wives are used to abuse. Does that mean they should continue to take it? You have a responsibility as a resident of this country – and a resident of this earth – to do everything you can to reduce your water use. To waste water because you are “used” to a top load is a poor excuse, no?
Will you be used to water restrictions? Will you be used to not being able to water your lawn and having to rip it up and replace it with paving? Will you be used to dead plants on your patio? Will you be used to brown golf courses, football ovals and parklands because nobody can afford to water them? Will you be used to empty dams? Will you be used to paying higher prices for water – and everything that needs water like crops, meat, fish, wood and the list goes on – in years to come? All of those are direct results of your reluctance to change.
I’ve Heard Bad Things About Front Loaders –
I’ve heard bad things about the drought. I’ve heard of the heartache it is causing farmers to have to go out and shoot their livestock. I’ve heard about crops lost due to not being able to water them. I’ve heard about increased salinity in our vital rivers. I’ve heard farmers want to increase the price of milk because it is more expensive to feed their livestock due to drought affected crops. I’ve seen the Murray River with my own eyes. I’ve seen dams at half their capacity.
Yes, when front loaders first arrived in this country over 20 years ago we got Europe’s off casts. They were not the best of machines – yet many of them still lasted 20 years or more. The machines today are a huge improvement. Don’t let an offhand comment at a dinner party years ago influence your decision *today*.
I Can’t Understand The Cycles –
That’s why manufacturers invented instruction books. Did you know my other half can tell me exactly how many rinses there are in each cycle of our machine? He read the book. He always reads the book. Everything you may ever want to know about your machine is inside the book. If you can’t read, ask someone to read it to you.
I’ve Heard About Over-Sudsing –
Front load washing machines do not need much detergent. Of course precisely because nobody reads the book, people just throw exactly how much powder they are used to into the machine. Strangely, this causes a SHEDLOAD of suds to appear! It is easily fixed – use less detergent in a front load machine. I use about a teaspoon of detergent, that’s all that is needed. But detergent manufacturers will tell you otherwise.. hmm, could it be they want you to buy more detergent?
If you’ve bought yourself a Miele front loader, don’t bother with detergent at all. Where you would put detergent, you can squeeze in half a lemon, or use a teaspoon of vanilla essence just to give it a nice fragrance. Your Miele washes so well it doesn’t need any help.
I Don’t Want To Buy It Without Trying It –
No problem. Give the manufacturer of the machine you are thinking of buying a call and ask if you can drop by and do a load of washing at their office. Many manufacturers welcome people with open arms and have machines set up there specifically for this purpose – Miele is a good example. If you ask really nicely they might do a special trick for you – they will let you see what is being washed OUT of your clothes. I have seen it with my own eyes – filthy, soapy, terribly dirty water. That is what made me change to a front loader.
If the manufacturer is too far away, contact your local retailer and ask if any of the manufacturers are running a “Money Back Guarantee” where you can try it for a certain amount of days and return it if you don’t like it. I’m certain you will, but if it gives you peace of mind to know you can return it, I’m all for that.
I Can’t Throw Something In –
Some people use the excuse that they can’t open the door once the machine starts washing to throw in a sock they missed as an excuse not to buy a front loader. I’m not joking. I wish I were. So in essence, their lack of organization is lowering the levels in our dams. I have two things to say about this –
1. Many machines now allow you to open the door once the wash has started.
2. Put the sock aside for the next load. If you can’t live without one sock you don’t have enough socks. Buy a few more pairs. Rivers have socks for about $2 a pair and they’re excellent socks, they last ages.
They Take A Long Time To Wash –
These days most front load machines have a quick wash option – mine does a 15 minute express 2kg wash, the Miele does a 40 minute full load wash. All top loaders are now taking longer to wash than they used to – some are up to 45-50 minutes – due to trying to lessen the amount of water used.
They Don’t Do A Big Load –
You can now get front loaders which will do anything from a 5kg load to a 10kg load.
They Are Too Expensive –
These days most front loaders start around the $650 mark – a lot cheaper than ever before. There are top loaders which are more expensive than that.
How Front Loaders Wash –
The explanation is a little more complicated. I found a great site which explains it better than I can – How Do Front Loaders Wash – your clothes will be a lot cleaner and also not “agitated” which means they last longer. Front loaders can spin at higher speeds, meaning your drying time is lower. They also use a lot less electricity – even though they heat the water to the exact temperature they want to use. They are water efficient, energy efficient and tend to be more reliable – less breakdowns because of the way they work.
Front Loaders Use –
- Less water
- Less Electricity
- Less Detergent
Can any of those excuses above truly justify wasting water, electricity and putting more detergent into our environment?
So How Much Water Can It Save –
Let me blow your mind with some staggering figures. If you took a street of 50 houses with washing machines, what would the water usage be for top loaders VS front loaders? Let’s say our street all does one load of washing today.
Top load – average 160 litres water per 7.5kg wash. (the older machines use more than this)
160 x 50 houses = 8,000 litres – in one day.
Front load – average 60 litres water per 7.5kg wash.
60 x 50 = 3,000 litres – in one day.
Now let’s say our street does one load of washing a day, every day for a year.
Top Load – 8,000 litres a day.
8,000 x 365 = 2,920,000 litres of water
Front load – 3,000 litres a day.
3,500 x 365 = 1,095,000 litres of water.
2,920,000 – 1,095,000 = 1,825,000 WASTED litres of water.
How Many Homes In Australia?
At the last census in Australia, there were 8,426,559 homes. Queensland is currently on level 5 water restrictions. They have 1,660,750 homes. Imagine the water wastage if even half of those homes are using top load washing machines. The figures we spoke about were for 50 homes.
Why Isn’t Something Being Done?
- Manufacturers are playing tricks to make their top loaders seem like they use less water – thus tricking consumers into thinking they are water efficient.
- Nobody is aware of the facts of how much water these machines actually waste. Yet people are encouraged to spend less time in the shower!
- People believe in personal choice. As yet, no government has the balls to say we’re outlawing top load washing machines. So it is up to you the buyer to make a good choice.
America, You’re Next –
America is the country with the most top loaders in the world. Front Loaders have not been presented as an option to most consumers – it is time for consumers to step up and ask for the product. There is now a drought in Atlanta – they could probably stretch that three months of water left to six or more if everyone had a front loader.
What You Can Do –
- Spread the word about this blog post.
- Contact your local politicians – it’s election time. Email them a copy of this article. Ask what they are going to do about it.
- Ask your politicians why there isn’t a rebate for purchasing a water efficient machine (Sydney Water offer it)
- Ask your politicians to commit to holding top load washer manufacturers to a higher standard of truth about how much water their machines use. The “eco” function should not be what their machines are rated on.
- Throw out your top load machine TODAY and buy a water efficient front loader. Yes, this costs money. Yes, this takes effort. It is worth it in the long run. Stand up and refuse to waste any more water.
- If you can’t do the above right now today, make a commitment to purchasing a front loader the next time you need to buy a washing machine
- Start putting aside $1 a day, $1 a week, whatever suits you, so that you’ll be in a financial position to buy the front loader when the time comes
- Also commit to not fixing your top load machine when it breaks down – take the money you would have used to do that and put it towards a front loader
- Encourage friends and family to make similar commitments.
Further Reading –
- Australian Water Resources
- Water Efficiency Scheme
- Water Usage for current machines
- Water Restrictions In Australia
- Queensland on Level 5 water restrictions
- Be Waterwise
Stumble, Link, Discuss –
Can you take a moment to do anything you can to get this post in front of people. Mention it in forums you belong to. Stumble it. Post about it on your own blog.
People might not like what they read, but it might be the start of change for the better. If just one house that washes daily goes from a machine that uses 200 litres a wash to a machine that uses 60 it will save 51,100 litres of water. That alone is worth me writing this article. I am hopeful it will be a lot more houses than that, so help me get the message out there.
The Time For Excuses Is Over, It Is Time To Make Real Changes –
Before our dams run dry and our lives change forever. I’m not kidding. If you want to see what life would be like without water, try it for just one day. Don’t use a single tap. Don’t flush your toilet. Don’t wash clothes. Don’t water your plants. Now imagine that every day, and think about whether the cost of buying a front loader right now today is worth it compared to the option of running out of water. Some places in the country are close to empty dams. Lakes have dried up. Stock has been killed because farmers can’t afford to feed and water them.
Water is essential for everything we do every day –
Stop and think about it for a moment. All the food you eat needs water in order to survive – even grain and vegetables. Our bodies need water. Our cars need water, though you can use coolant but how environmentally unfriendly is that? We need water for wood to grow, for industries to function, for wild birds and animals, for tourism, for ecosystems. Our earth needs water, and we need to be more careful how we use it. Wasting large amounts of it on washing.. seems crazy to me.
Your Thoughts –
What do you think about all this? Is this article eye opening to you? Were you aware of these facts? Will it change what you do? Will it change what you buy the next time you want to purchase a washing machine?
The comments section is open. I welcome all discussion – I do not welcome personal attacks and will delete any comments which cross that line, you have been warned. Discuss the issues, don’t attack people. ;)
31 thoughts on “Humans Let Us All Waste Water.”
Okay, here’s what I think: Great post! I have a front loader myself, they are much more available in the U.S. now and prices between the styles are comparable – there are cheaper versions of both as well as top of the line versions of both. I have a middle of the road. The only problem I’ve run into wasn’t actually something that happened to me but my sister in law who said that she has to leave her front loader door open when it is not running to dry out completely or it will smell musty because some water at the bottom, under the drum, didn’t drain all the way out. It turned out to be a common issue with the make and model that she has but mine is fine. I still leave the door open now anyway when it’s not running just in case. I don’t like musty laundry smells. LOL. I also think there are other areas we could improve on. I remember going to a museum as a child and they had a reproduction of a Japanese home. The bathroom was designed so that the handwashing water from the sink was then piped into the toilet so that it got used twice before getting flushed away. I’ve always thought that was a great idea and wondered why it hasn’t caught on elsewhere. It really needs to. I’m sure there are plenty of other areas but that is just one I’ve been thinking about a lot.
Excellent article. I admire and respect a blogger who is willing to divert from their normal topic to discuss such matters of importance. Some are not even willing to do this even when they are posting on a mass blogger project such as Blog Against Abuse.
Australia used to be behind other countries in their adoption of front loaders – certainly the UK – I think that is partly because we tend to have separate laundries here rather than having to install the washing machine in kitchens. Space was the consideration rather than water saving.
I have had a front loader for over 15 years now – I seem to remember my decision was based on a Choice article which talked about water and detergent saving and less wear and tear on clothes.
My water usage has reduced to a whole third of what it was a couple of years ago. Installing water saving toilets, having dripping taps fixed, using timers in the shower and just being aware of being careful with what I use are the main reasons I think. Any costs associated with this have been more than offset by a saving in water bills.
I bought a front loader when my last machine died just over 3 years ago. I can’t even remember the reasons why, but I bought a 10kg box of detergent for $10 at Big W, and it lasted my front loader 13 MONTHS!! How’s that for savings on what used to cost me $3-4 a week for my old top loader I inherited.
I love my front loader so much I can’t possibly imagine going back to a top loader. My parents have one and now I’m heavily pregnant again, I can’t even do the washing there as I can’t reach the clothes at the bottom. Mine has a 30 minute cycle which is fine for all our clothes and sheets, except when Hubby’s been working in the garden or on the boats, and it has a 60 minute and 120 minute cycle (I’ve never used the 120 minute cycle).
I don’t know what it did to our water use (we were renting at the time) but I do know that when we moved in here, we were using 1/4 of the water the previous residents used, and there were 2 of them, and 4 of us. We’re currently using less than half our daily water allowance under the toughest restrictions in Queensland, even though we’re only on level one here.
Excellent post and I’ll be posting about it on my blog :)
Boyfriend and I are stuck with apartment issue appliances, which are always the cheapest and least energy and water efficient available. We are looking at buying a house next year, and we already said we want front loaders.
My top loader died while I was washing a load of nappies. Not good. I then bought a front loader because I knew they used less water and that was the main reason. I’d also vaguely heard that they washed better, although I didn’t know why. I did notice this because the baby clothes and nappies came out much cleaner than in the top loader.
I love my front loader and don’t mind at all kneeling on the floor to haul the clothes out of it. I don’t have to lift the basket of clothes either, L does that for me so that I don’t strain my back, (I’ve had back trouble since 1986). There are specific front loader detergents available, they are low sudsing varieties and even with those you can use much less than the recommended amount. I do a FULL load with just under a tablespoonful. One box of Duomatic lasts me about 3 1/2 months. I also save water by only washing two loads a week, clothes on Saturday and sheets&towels on Sunday. even when I had the 4 kids at home I didn’t wash every day. It was still clothes on Saturday and linens on Sunday, although there was more than one load of each, I still think I used less water than if I had washed every day. Washing daily was only done if I had a child still in nappies.
I do feel that you have missed a point though. While it is a good idea for everyone to change over to front loaders, there are many, many people who simply cannot afford to “throw out” their toploader. Change will have to come slower than you would like.
This is a great post, full of very valid points. It’s one of those things that most people simply aren’t aware of, myself included.
I use a front loader funny I never thought of it before just a machine that I had to open the “normal way”. All my family/friends that I’ve visited used them. It also seemed much easier to get the water out of a front load machine than a top loading machine if it got stopped working.
I used to go to the laundromat to do my clothes, even though I had a front loader at home. It’s a habit I picked up from my mother. She still does that weekly even though she has a front loading machine at home.
The laundromat uses front loading machines just like what she is used to.
I do think we all can do things to make improvements to our environment. Thanks for posting this. :-)
OK, I’m sold! Also, researched other savings! Less electricity use with the more efficient front loading washing machine!
For the sake of energy savings, I always install a timer clock on our water heater in the US. Costs about $40, saving that in about three months!
Also, we only run GNU/Linux on our X86 computers (Private Academy, K-12; home, and business total 121 computers!). Mepis, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, are all immune to all Microsoft virus/malware/Storm-bot-worm-trojan/back doors/spyware.
Plus, it lets the machines run fast and well for a decade without forced ‘upgrades’ of the hardware.
Top topic, and I will get a front loader, we need a new machine anyway. Interestingly my wife grew up on a farm and always had to watch water use, including get wet in shower, turn off tap, soap up, turn tap on to rinse off, and when things were really dry and no tank water left, they had to use dam water (brown) for showers and toilet flushing. No big deal I would have thought, but she does love long hot showers now and almost seems as though she feels she had an underprivileged childhood, and now can use shower and wash clothes whenever things are a little bit dirty because she can, so a top loader will be a big help. Thanks for the info.
I have a plastic coated info sheet hanging in the shower from a hotel I stayed in which asks the showerer to conserve water, and says 1min shwr = 16 litres and includes water usage for times up to 16 mins, asking you to spare a minute or two from what you would normally use, to save 16 litres for every minute, so this top loader will be another educational step, particularly for my 15 y.o. stepson, who is growing up in a world where water conservation is relevant.
I need to replace my top loader in the near future, and I was planning to get a front loader anyway… but now I am sold for sure.
The water in my neighborhood has been shut off today for much of the day because there is a broken water main being repaired. Imagine having this kind of shortage all the time. Water is not something to be taken for granted, yet we automatically assume it’ll be there the minute we turn on the tap.
I invested in my front load washer and dryer in April and I really like it. I do feel that the clothes are cleaner. There are so many washing options and very easy to use. I really like that I can sanitize too. I really do feel like the everything I wash is cleaner.
I know I’m saving money too. I use much less detergent and I would hate to think what my water bills would be with a top loading machine. People need to remember too that while the wash cycles may take a little bit longer, the drying times are actually shorter. The front load washer is able to spin at a much higher RPM and so there is less moisture left in the clothes to be dried. Also, any laundry that you hang dry is dry in a matter of hours, it’s amazing!
I love the extra storage that having the pedastle provides in the laundry room, not to mention raising the washer & dryer doors to a higher level. I actually can’t think of anything about the front load pair that I have that I don’t like!
I really learned a lot today! We are still under water restrictions in south Florida, so this is an important topic. Unfortunately, our house came with a top load washer. I need to think about this!
we are looking at retiring our top load w/m so this post has come at a perfect time. I will check out the front loaders because of the HUGE amount of water saving that you claim. I am embarrassed that I am wasting so much water in my laundry!!!!
Great post. As a supporter of saving our environment and keeping our kids safe I am a hypocrite if I continue to use a top loader.
Oh my god!!
I never knew.
I live in a house with my landlord and it’s dirty toploader.
I may have to consider taking my laundry to the landromat!
I’m happy to say that I have a front loading efficiency washer – and we love it. Thanks for this post!
i so so so so so so so so so want a front loader. i don’t think they are too expensive, but right now we simply do not have the extra cash. but it is our goal to get one in the next year!
I’ve wanted one of these for a long time: http://www.amazon.com/WM2487HRM-Front-Load-Washer-Capacity-SteamWash/dp/B000JLL7M0
Interesting article, thanks. As it’s national Energy Saving Week, Miele has just launched some top tips to home appliance energy saving. The guide covers washing machines and measures that can be taken to save water/energy, but also tips for using dishwashers, vacuums and tumble dryers etc. http://www.milesbetter.org
Oh, I forgot to mention the absolute BEST part of a front loader.
My kids, aged 4 and nearly 3, can load and unload the machine for me! I was honestly 12 before I could use my parents top loader because I’m so short, but there’s no excuse for my kids not helping me with the washing!
My 4 year old had an accident last night, and is right now stripping her sheets off her bed and putting them in the machine.
We bought front loaders about 5 years ago when we remodeled our house. I love them and our water usage actually went down noticably.
Dear Snoskred and readers, I found much to admire in your article, but there may be other strategies to avoid unnecessary extravagances where a perfectly workablewashing machine is there. There is no law which stops you doing the following as we do
1. shower with a bucket (or 2)
2.empty bucket (s) into washing machine (ours is a top- load about 6 years old)
3. use water in cycles and collect water from cycles, using detergent loaded wastewater in non vegie or non-food parts of garden, or
4. take lid of toilet cistern (if accessible) and fill cistern . (our float valve has been broken , hence we started “topping up”.
This trickle-down or “on-flow” approach to water use allows for 3 or 4 uses and can displace far more than just the outlay for a frontload machine.
Of course you could install waterless toilets in lieu of the existing sewer connected one, and collect rainwater or greywater or a combined system or a “Nubian” type water reprocessor without getting much change from $6000.00 plus $360 per year servicing and quality review (it is after all a miniature water processing plant and a might complex compared to a washing machine).
So I do not wish to insult your public courtesy in the blog, but as in all things in life there are practical alternatives. There is an excellent free book put out by the Victorian Women’s Trust on the water issues in Australia which gives a much fuller and broader dimension to the water and drought issues facing Australia, published 2007
Victorian Women’s Trust
L1 388 Bourke St, Melbourne 3000
tel +61 3 9642 0422 Facs +61 3 9642 0016
E: email@example.com or http://www.vwt.org.au
For instance You and readers could start to understand the amount of water used to produce 1 kilo of beefsteak (it is about 16,000 litres) ; a change of diet will save a lot more than a front loader. But that might be regarded as insulting to some.
You could look at Coombes and Kucera’s work in Newcastle Uni about raintanks in urban settings and behavioural responses: appropriate water use can really lead to many “green ” and positive consequences.
Better use of water metering and greater community “pressure” on politicians of all persuasions can make sure the changes keep happening
You makes your choices and ‘dems de breaks.
Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments and all the support in linking to this, putting this on digg and stumbleupon and various other places. As I type this my front loader is whirring into a spin with the bedclothes. I love my front load washer. ;)
Teeni – It is wonderful to hear that they are becoming more common in the US. I always leave the door open of mine – it is a common front loader issue because if the water needs to be able to evaporate into the air – if there’s no fresh air it can’t do that.
I think the Japanese bathroom idea sounds brilliant – they have a lot of great stuff there including socks which never smell – and scented socks too! How do they keep all this stuff to themselves? :( Is it that they think the rest of the world won’t pay for the same things? Hands up anyone who would NOT buy socks which never smell? That’s right, we all would.
Sueblimely – we do have a lot of space in Australia which is one reason top loaders are more popular, sadly. Great work on reducing the water consumption – I bet the electricity consumption dropped too, right?
Kin – because I use so much less detergent, I spend a little extra and get the TriNature detergent which smells incredible and lasts for ages. I had a 2kg bucket which lasted a YEAR.. I was stunned.
Kirsten – Some landlords are so short sighted. :( But yay for buying a house! I’m excited for you. I love those tv shows where they take people through houses, I love looking at houses, I should work in real estate, maybe. ;)
Back in a moment with more replies – else it gets too long! ;)
Jen – Ouch! I am not even going to ask whether it was full of dirty water because there’s a 50% chance it was.. :( The difference with nappies must have been very noticeable, because I saw the difference with my clothes without the things you find in nappies was incredible..
River – I agree that many people can’t afford to throw out their top loader – however can we as a country afford to let the people who can’t afford to throw out their top loader use that amount of water?
I think governments have to get involved here as well as councils and water authorities. In NSW they have a $150 rebate which is given to people who purchase a 4 star water efficient machine. This means that the purchase rate of front loaders has soared here. That is one good way to help people to make the right decisions rather than make excuses.
I also think the price of excess water needs to go way, way up. When the electricity prices rose in Adelaide, residents looked for ways to save money with their electricity.
Back in a sec with more!
Excellent Post. When I first lived in America in the 1980s, front loaders were very rare. When we went back in early 2001, the selection was better, but the price difference was significant. We still bought one because my wife was completed convinced. We had had front loaders in Singapore, which were widely used there because of space. We have one now here in Adelaide.
After a campaign on front loaders, how about one on dryers. Why so many dryers in the US and Australia, where the weather is generally pretty good for much of the year. I wrote about this earlier.
Alyndabear – Thanks!
Opal – I am surprised to hear that – usually in the US everyone has a big Maytag top loader or something. ;)
Univiction – Water heating is something which wastes a lot of water because the water is not hot when you turn on the tap. I recently saw they have invented something to fix that, but I can’t remember what it was called.
Tex – You’ll want to make sure to get the front loader, not the top loader. ;) My uncle had a property which used dam water and I understand how your wife feels about that. Clean water is such a blessing – but if we don’t consider how much we use, we might all end up with brown bore water someday! ;(
I’ll be back a little later with more comment replies – there are so many for this post! Thanks everyone, I appreciate it.
Just wanted to let you know I linked to this post in my blog post this morning. LOVE my front loader. :-) Great post!!!
Very informative. My issue is you did not devote enough consideration to cost. I recently paid a total of $400 for a top loading washer and dryer from Best Buy. I only wish I could spend $650 on a washer alone. Most Americans can’t afford it. period.
This is a fantastic post and food for thought. We do have a front loader and it hammers along well. Once I move I shall be recycling the grey water produced from standard operation.
Great post – clearly you’re an experienced writer!