Going Green: How to Save a Lot of Money and Energy with your Laundry at Home
There are few household tasks that use up more water and energy than laundry, but all hope is not lost. There are several environmentally friendly ways to do your laundry that will not only help the planet, but save you money as well.
Look for the ENERGY STAR label. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy have teamed up in a joint program to improve the eco-efficiency of household appliances and practices. If you’re in the market for a new washer and dryer, keep an eye out for the ENERGY STAR label. You are guaranteed the products adhere to the strict guidelines set by both organizations, and you’ll save about $110 a year.
Turn down the heat. Over 90 percent of the energy used on laundry is for heating the water. By simply washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot you will greatly reduce your energy use. Also, you won’t have to worry about a color-blending disaster (which is an added bonus).
Fill it up. Doing less laundry might seem strange, but it’s the best way to cut down on water usage during the whole process. That doesn’t mean you have to live in filth. Just wait until you have a full load before tossing clothes in the washer to cut back on excess water usage.
Air it out. If you have a backyard or rooftop area, install a laundry line for drying your clothes. The more you avoid using the dryer, the less energy you’ll use (and you’ll enjoy lower electricity bills to boot). While outside is best, you can easily set up drying racks and clotheslines in your laundry room or basement that also work well.
Go organic. Cleaning products contain an abundance of harmful chemicals that can damage the environment and your health. Some cleaning products can even affect the air quality of your home, irritate eyes and skin, and cause respiratory problems. For a truly green laundry experience, use organic cleaning supplies. They’re still effective and are made entirely of organic compounds such as grain alcohol, fruit and plant oils, eucalyptus, rosemary, and sage.
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