Laundry Day

May 3, 2007 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

Laundry DayIt inevitably happens our clothes keep getting dirty and we have to go through the process of cleaning them. The question is with today’s mega-sized washers, dryers that almost bake your clothes and detergents with their own ecological footprints how can we lessen the eco demands of this unavoidable task? 

Less in More
Doing less laundry results in less energy, resource and water use which is always good for Mother Nature. As an added bonus you spend less time doing laundry and have more time for other things – a true win win situation.  

  • If it’s not dirty, don’t wash it. Seems straight forward but worth repeating. Yes, you can wear things more than once without washing them.
  • Use the correct amount of water and soap for the amount of items being washed.
  • Turn down the temperature. Washing on cold saves energy and amazingly enough still gets you clothes nice and clean!

Sudz
Have you ever noticed that a box of your common laundry detergents don’t have a list of ingredients on them? It seems that thanks to government trade-secret laws, manufacturers of cleaners aren’t required to disclose ingredients on product labels, making it difficult for consumers to choose an environmentally preferable and healthier alternative. 

Seventh Generation, Ecover and Bi-O-Kleen make both powder and liquid laundry detergents without problematic chemicals. They also disclose ingredients.

  • Opt for “fragrance free.”
  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
  • Use the smallest amount necessary to clean your clothes. Here in Vancouver this is even more important as we have soft water and detergents are typically formulated for use in medium to hard water. We only need to use about half the manufacturers recommended amount of detergent, possibly less.

Hanging Out
Line drying a single load of clothes saves approximately 2.6 kWh of electricity and prevents 3.35 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. We have started hanging most of our clothes to dry. By hanging our clothes to dry we are accomplishing several things:

  • Our clothes last longer – less shrinking, fading and elastic breakdown.
  • Reduces energy consumption – the dryer is one of the worst.
  • Cuts down on ironing – I hate ironing so this alone is enough motivation for me!

But I Need My Jeans Now!
If you simply have to use your dryer there are some tips you can follow to make the experience more energy efficient.  

  • Use the high spin option on your washer to get as much moisture out before you start drying.
  • Clean your lint filter with every load and check your dryer exhaust frequently to make sure it’s clean and that the flapper on the outside hood opens and closes freely.
  • Use the permanent press option. I have to admit I always wondered what this function was and never really used it. Well it blows cool air at the end of the drying process to cut down on hot air usage. Perfect!
  • Check to see if your machine has a moisture sensor that will automatically shut off when the machine when the clothes are dry. If it does – use it!
  • Dry loads back to back to maximize the residual heat that is still in the machine.
     

Here’s to following the less is more approach to laundry, shopping wisely for your sudz and reducing our dryer use!

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Entry filed under: Frugal Living, Reducing Our Impact.

Trashy Thoughts Plastic Free

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About


I am passionate about reducing my impact on the environment and am learning to live simply and live green. I am learning the age old arts of home food preservation and cooking from scratch. This is yet another eco-blog and a place for me to really channel my passions for writing, photography and sustainable living.
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