Laundry. We dont really love it but we have to do it. Each day, we use clothing, towels, bedding and, inevitably, we have to clean it. But how can we do this in the greenest way possible?
You see, second to the refrigerator, the washing machine and dryer use the most energy in the home. And that isnt the only ungreen thing about these appliances; most of the laundry cleaners go down into our water systems, too.
Here are our top tips for making the chore of laundry as green as can be:
Get a Front Loader
Front loading washing machines clean clothes more thoroughly and use less water and energy than most top-loading counterparts. Even further, if they bear that Energy Star logo, they typically use between 18 and 25 gallons of water per load; compared to the 40-plus gallons used by older machines, thats significant.
Keep it Cold
No matter what kind of machine you have, using cold water will improve its energy efficiency. About 90 pe cent of the energy used for the washing machine is from heating the water. Check out the Switch To Cold website, which estimates a savings of $50 to $100 a year by switching to washing on cold.
Nix the Irritants
Most conventional laundry soaps contain irritants that bother our bodies and the environment. These phosphates that can cause a negative impact on our ecosystem, and synthetic dyes and fragrances can cause some major problems. However, there are many phosphate and bleach-free products made from biodegradable, plant- and vegetable-based ingredients
Line It Up
An easy energy saving option: dont use the dryer altogether. Drying on a line saves energy and leaves your clothes smelling with a lovely freshness you cant get anywhere else.
Or Dry It Right
If you must use the dryer, be sure to keep the lint filter clean. It will increase efficiency and shorten drying time, and reduce the wear and tear on clothes. The best part? It will save loads of energy.
Ditch the Dryer Sheets
Although hanging it to dry is the best option, sometimes the weather isnt compliant, or a fluffy soft towel is necessary. However, those dryer sheets are full of toxins that leech into our breathing space. A better option? Try making your own with a moist washcloth sprayed with liquid fabric softener and tossing it into the dryer?
Other Quick Tips
- Instead of washing two small loads, just wash one instead.
- If you only have a few things to wash, and want to wash them because you had a slip in the mud or a problem with some tomato sauce, be sure to set your water level accordingly.
- However, be sure not to overload your water they need to move freely in order to get clean.
- Cold-water rinse saves energy, even if they were washed in hot water.
- Do all your laundry loads on the same day. If the dryer is hot from another load, or the water is heated from the previous run, it used leftover heat instead of starting from scratch.