Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days to Green Living day 7: green laundry

 Laundry collage

So charming, don’t you think? Who wouldn’t want to do laundry in one of these spaces? Considering the typical American household does nearly 400 loads of laundry per year…it better be a space you love!
Laundry rooms have come a long way from being a dreaded place to do your laundry down in the basement. They have moved up to the main levels of living and are oftentimes decorated in the same care as the rest of the home. And no doubt should be since we spend a fair amount of time there probably every day.  If you laundry room is a little utilitarian looking, try some little touches (you can find lots of ideas on blogs, Pinterest and Houzz) to spruce it up and make it a beautiful space you enjoy being in.
Nonetheless, this post is about making your laundry green:

Air-Dry Your Laundry
"As often as possible, hang your laundry on a line outside or a rack inside, instead of using a dryer," says Pennybaker, Whole Living's Econundrums columnist. You'll save 4.4 pounds of carbon per load."
Not only is air-drying laundry good for the environment, it saves money on your utility bills, naturally adds humidity to the air(so great in the winter) and is gentler on your clothes which keeps them looking newer longer.

Wash in Cold Water
About 90 percent of the energy used for a load of laundry goes to heating the water. Some stains demand hot water, as do bed linens (to kill dust mites). Wash all other loads in cold.
Potential Annual Savings: $300 and 330 pounds of emissions. Cold cycles are gentler on clothes, especially darks. Make sure to turn dark pants (especially jeans)inside out to help with fading).

Non-toxic Laundry products
I use Shaklee’s Get Clean Laundry line now.
This is what I use:
Fragrance Free detergent
Fabric Softener (makes your clothes smell heavenly)
Nature Bright Laundry Booster & Stain Remover
Fragrance Free Dryer Sheets
**Reed has VERY sensitive skin and it is easily irritated and he has never had a reaction to using Shaklee.**

Energy Star Rating & Front-Load Washers
Next time you are in the market for new appliances, try to find ones with and Energy Star rating for efficiency. You will notice how much better your utility bills are if you don’t already have newer appliances. When it’s time to get a new washing machine, look at the front-load washers. There are so many to choose from nowadays, in all price ranges. Front loaders use less water, detergent, energy and are gentler on clothes since there is no agitator. They use about 40% less water than conventional washers (which use about 40 gallons per load) so that in itself is a huge savings on your water bill! They are a great option to consider. Smile

Non-Toxic Dry Cleaners
When you have clothes that need to be dry-cleaned, try finding a Non-Toxic business. We have one very close to us and they are just the sweetest people. Besides the employees not having to ingest all those HORRIBLE chemicals all day( namely perchloroethene, or "perc,) it also translates to you not bringing home “clean” clothes that have those chemicals on them. Look for Cleaners who use:
-Wet Cleaning uses water and a mild detergent.
-Liquid CO2 uses what is known as "food-grade" carbon dioxide, the same gas that makes soda and beer bubbly. CO2 cleaners clean and reuse this naturally occurring substance rather than releasing it into the atmosphere, so not to worry about global warming here! Plus, it works. In 2003, Consumer Reports tested CO2-based cleaning systems and found the results to be better than traditional dry cleaning. To locate a service near you, go to
If there are no green dry cleaners in your neighborhood, you can brave your local dry cleaner and survive just fine. Just ask your dry cleaner not to bag your cleaned clothes in plastic. That way, the perc fumes can disperse as your cleaning is carried home. Once home, let your clothes hang by a window for further "off gassing," to reduce the amount of perc you inhale.
If you have a non-toxic dry cleaner, ask them to bag your clean clothes in a reusable garment bag you provide to save on all that plastic!


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