Turning Over A New Leaf

I don’t know about you but every new year I make a series of resolutions.  Here are some national top ten ones from the past:  10:  Get organized, 9: Help Others, 8: Learn Something New, 7: Get Out of Debt, 6: Quit Drinking, 5: Enjoy Life More, 4: Quit Smoking, 3: Tame The Bulge, 2: Fit In Fitness, and the number one new years resolution: Spend More Time With Family And Friends.  Great resolutions all but by days and weeks later they are soon forgotten and we are back in to our life of routine.  How about this year instead of making a series of resolutions that will soon be a faded memory and left for dead, how about we turn over a new leaf…at least a green one when it comes to saving our planet and your clothing.  So here are 10 ways to GREEN your laundry: 

1.) Make sure it’s dirty

Unless you ran a marathon or spilled ketchup on your shirt, it’s ok to wear your clothing a few times in between washings. The most wear to clothing comes from washing and drying, so make them last longer by hanging it back up and giving it a second (or third) round. 

2.) Get up-to-date 

If your washer and dryer are of legal drinking age, it’s time for an upgrade. Older top-loading models use twice as much water as newer front-loading machines. And since the majority of energy is spent heating water, you don’t want twice as much water to heat with each load! Consider an Energy Star rated washer to get you savings of up to $550 in its lifetime (essentially it pays for itself!) 

3.) Make the Trek 

Get your laundry done faster and more efficiently by heading to a laundromat. The industrial loading washers and dryers are more efficient than home machines, so gather those quarters and a good book and start loading! 

4.) Watch what you put in the water

Choose one of the many eco-friendly laundry detergents (we highly recommend Selestial Soap Natural Laundry Products)  out there that get the job done without all the harsh chemicals and phosphates. Even better – opt for the concentrated version – there’s no need to package and ship all that extra liquid before it reaches your door. 

5.) Go Natural

Instead of using fabric softener, many of which contain toxic chemicals, here’s an eco friendly idea: add  1/2 cup of   Selestial Softening Rinse to your final rinse cycle. It balances the pH in the detergent to leave your clothes oh-so-soft.  

6.) Wash cold. Every time

90% of the energy used by a washing machine is to heat the water. Choose an eco friendly laundry detergent (again we highly recommend Selestial Soap Natural Laundry Detergent)  specialized for cold-water and you’ll keep your whites white, while saving energy (not to mention money on your energy bill).

7.) Fill ‘er up! 

Make sure each laundry load is full (but not jam-packed) to get the most out of the water and energy used for each load. If you have to wash a small load, make sure to change the load size if your machine gives you the option. 

8.) Hang it out to dry 

Your dryer is #2 on your household energy users (after your refrigerator). Lessen your environmental impact by saving energy and hang-drying as much as you can. Avoid stiff-feeling clothes by using the dryer for 10 minutes, and then hang drying the rest of the way. To maximize your dryer’s energy efficiency, run loads right after each other and put it somewhere other than a freezing cold basement where it needs extra energy to warm up. 

9.) DIY dryer sheets

For sweet-smelling, eco friendly laundry without the chemicals that are in disposable dryer sheets, make your own lavender sachet! Simply fill a cotton muslin bag with lavender (or other herbs of your choice), add a few drops of essential oils, then sew or tie shut. Give it a few squeezes and toss it in your dryer for great smelling laundry, au natural. 

10.) Just say no to dry cleaning

Step one? Avoid buying “dry clean only” clothing in the first place. Most dry cleaning methods use perchloroethylene (or “perc”), a toxic chemical that is very harsh on you and the environment. Many “dry clean only” items can actually be hand washed safely, but for those tough items, there are a few eco friendly options. Try wet cleaning which uses special equipment and detergents to safely clean your delicate clothing, or Carbon Dioxide cleaning which uses non-toxic liquid C02 to safely clean your clothes.

So with these green tips in mind may you join us in turning over a new leaf and “Saving The Planet Within Your Budget” in 2012!