Like California, the state of Washington has a nasty and totalitarian habit of forcing green laws upon its citizens. Granted, as most of those laws are passed in Olympia and focus upon the Pugeot Sound area and its overcrowding problems, those same laws are having unintended consequences for others outside of the Seattle-Olympia area.
Case in point, Washington passed a new law that nearly bans all phosphates now. Back in the day, laws were passed to remove phosphates from laundry detergent. We've been working to find suitable replacements ever since. Recently, Olympia Washington passed a law that limits the phosphates in dishwashing detergent to 0.5 or less. As a consequence, resource usage has increased.
Read on to find out what WA people are doing in order to have clean dishes....
SPOKANE, Wash. – 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.
Once again, the eradication of useful and needed products has caused some to seek a workaround.
Marcotte said she tried every green brand in her dishwasher and found none would remove grease and pieces of food. Everybody she knows buys dishwasher detergent in Idaho, she said.
Supporters of the ban acknowledge it is not very popular.
"I'm not hearing a lot of positive feedback," conceded Shannon Brattebo of the Washington Lake Protection Association, a prime mover of the ban. "I think people are driving to Idaho."
Steve Marcy, manager of the Costco in Coeur d'Alene, about 10 miles east of the Washington state line, estimated that sales of dishwasher detergent in his store have increased 10 percent. He knows where the customers are coming from.
"I'll joke with them and ask if they are from Spokane," Marcy said. "They say, `Oh yeah.'"
[Spokane] Shoppers can still buy phosphate detergents in Washington state by venturing outside Spokane County, but Idaho is more convenient to many Spokane residents.
People are finding that, while it may not be cheaper, it is better for them to drive out of state to attain the quality of life they have grown used to. Granted, people could wash their dishes by hand to assure quality cleaning, but no one likes to do that these days of hussle-n-bussle life. Not when there is an easier alternative sitting right next to the kitchen sink and under the counter.
After I graduated college and began living out on my own, I HATED!! washing dishes by hand all the time. I went out and bought a portable dishwasher. That was one of my most favorite and USED purchases.
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.
"Clean lakes and clean dishes do not have to be mutually exclusive," said association president-elect Jacob McCann.
Phosphates have been banned in laundry detergent nationally since 1993. Washington was the first state where the Legislature passed a similar ban against dishwasher detergents, in 2006. The ban is being phased in, starting with Spokane County.
"It's nice to be on the cutting edge," Spokane resident Ken Beck, an opponent of the ban, said sarcastically.
...A bill on Capitol Hill would impose a nationwide ban.
The Soap and Detergent Association, which represents manufacturers, initially fought the bans. But as the movement gained strength across the country, the association asked legislatures to delay bans until July 2010 to allow for a uniform rollout of products.
For his part, Beck has taken to washing his dishes on his machine's pots-and-pans cycle, which takes longer and uses five gallons more water. Beck wonders if that isn't as tough on the environment as phosphates.
"How much is this really costing us?" Beck said. "Aren't we transferring the environmental consequences to something else?"
Unintended consequences? Or, just complete moronic and imbicilic thought from people who have no clue what science is?
How often have we experienced the fact that when the "green" ideology is pushed upon us, we end up paying more and more for it? Recycling, solar, wind, and now green soap has cost us more money and time each and every time these cumbersome regulations are passed.
Does it really save the planet when we just end up using more energy to get the same quality of life before the bans?
If they really wanted to do this right, they would ban washer and dryer machines, ban all chemical based soaps, and mandate hand washing and drying. If this is truly about saving the environment, then this is what needs to happen.
Sort of like what happens when the Socialist Environmentalists demand that we produce less oil. The problem is, they have not decreased the DEMAND for the oil, only limited its supply. And as we all know, when you limit supply without limiting demand, you cause overall costs to skyrocket. If vehicles are bad for the environment, then ban them. That will drastically cut down the need for petroleum.
But then, the "green" movement has never been about saving the environment. It is all about control. Their whole desire is to control someone else's life and actions.
So, again, how much is this really costing us?