Eco-Friendly Laundry

Save money in the laundry room

06/27/2014

Laundry always seems to get a bad rap and is often listed as one of the least popular household chores. When it comes to environmental conservation, however, laundry is one of the areas where you may be able to save the most energy with a minimal amount of effort. A few simple changes in your laundry habits may have you looking at laundry in a whole new light.
 
Clean with cold
Because most of the energy used in the laundry process is consumed while heating water in your washer, you can save both energy and money by washing clothes in only cold water. With advances in washing machines and detergent, most everyday clothes will get just as clean in cold water as warm. In addition, using cold water will help your clothing hold its color (allowing the clothing to last longer) and prevent shrinkage.
 
Ditch the dryer
The second largest laundry energy bandit is the clothes dryer. Ditch the dryer and try hanging your clothes to dry. If you're able to hang them outside, the sun will naturally give your clothes a fresh scent. No room to hang your clothes outdoors? Try hanging your smaller items inside on an indoor drying rack. Hanging your clothes will not only save energy, but also allow your clothes to last longer by retaining their shape and color.
 
Ditch the dryer sheets
Not only do dryer sheets contain several unpronounceable ingredients, but they are expensive, create additional landfill trash, and often leave clothes smelling like a perfume factory. If you live in a warmer climate, you may be able to just ditch the dryer sheets, saving both money and additional trash. Colder climates may still require help with static electricity in clothes, created by the dryer. Instead of dryer sheets, choose environmentally friendly dryer balls, which can be used again and again in your dryer to battle wrinkles and static electricity woes. No dryer balls? Use a few loose tennis balls in your dryer instead.
 
Wash less laundry
To save on laundry energy consumption, make a conscious choice to wash fewer loads of laundry. Wear your clothes several times before washing. (Jeans, for example, don't need to be washed after every wear.) When you need to do laundry, do only full loads instead of several smaller loads.
 
Natural or homemade products
In addition to energy usage, detergents can also be an environmental concern. Where does the laundry soap go when it flows down the drain and into the city's water supply? If you're concerned about the ingredients in some laundry detergents, opt for natural or homemade products.
 
Just a few simple changes in the way you do laundry can make a significant impact on your energy usage and environmental footprint. Hanging your clothes, ditching the dryer sheets, washing less laundry and using a more environmentally friendly detergent will result in a lower electric bill and less impact on the environment around you.

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