Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eco-Friendly Laundry for the Eco Conscious You!

Hi, everyone! Here are some simple tips that will reduce the impact all those loads have on the environment. Take note and challenge yourself to try at least one from the list!

Control the Temperature.

About 90 percent of the energy associated with doing laundry involves just heating up the water. The solution: Turn that dial to cold! You'll be surprised how much of a difference this makes to the environment.

Wash Full Loads.

Even the most energy-efficient loads use 40 gallons of water. Reducing the number of loads you do each week will save water and money. If you find yourself doing eight or more loads of laundry each week, skipping just one will save over 10 percent on your laundry costs.

Upgrade To Energy Efficient Washers and Dryers.

This is not permission to go out and replace your current machine that’s running just fine. (But nice try!) If you’re in the market for a new washer or dryer, buying an energy efficient model can save both water and energy, and lower your bills.

Switch to Natural Detergents and Stain Removers.

Natural products tend to be free of chlorine bleach, synthetic fragrance, dyes, and optical brighteners. What's in them? They’re usually plant (not petroleum) based, contain biodegradable surfactants, and are often specifically formulated to perform well in cold water. Be sure to read the fine print when shopping; remember that knowledge is power.

Choose Non-Chlorine Bleach.

Use in the home isn’t quite as detrimental for the environment as industrial use (like bleaching paper), but chlorine bleach can irritate skin and eyes. Most non-chlorine bleach is hydrogen peroxide. You can buy branded versions, or just stick to the 3 percent version sold in drug stores. And doing so will really add up. In fact, if every U.S. household replaced just one 64–ounce bottle of chlorine bleach with non-chlorine bleach, we could prevent 11.6 million pounds of chlorine from entering our environment.

Rethink Dryer Sheets.

The chemicals–including synthetic fragrances—found in conventional dryer sheets and fabric softeners are similar to what is found in conventional detergents. They’re largely questionable for human health and the environment. Plus, don’t even think about recycling those dryer sheets. Either skip them entirely or choose eco-friendly ones.

Hang Clothes to Dry.

Keeping your clothes out of a dryer extends their life, reduces energy use, and cuts costs. Whether indoors or outside, line drying can be done year round. Just don’t put dark colours in bright sunlight or they’ll fade. Bonus: For those who live in countries that have seasons, indoor rack drying during the winter doubles as a humidifier.

Make Your Own Laundry Products.

The only real way to know what’s going into your laundry is to whip up your own solutions. Use safe-for-the-environment ingredients that are already in your pantry like vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. Many of these DIY formulas have been used for generations and get the job done.

We hope this somehow continues to inspire you to green your lifestyle!


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