The first way to make your laundry greener, is to take a look at the detergent you’re using. Most detergents contain several chemicals that will end up in the water and harm the environment. Some people actually have very bad allergies and skin trouble due to the laundry detergent they use. You can avoid this by buying a green detergent like Ecover, or make your own as described here.
For fabric softener you can just use plain white vinegar.
2. Unplug the machine
Your laundry machine, like many appliances, still uses power when it’s turned off. The bigger the appliance, the more power it leeches. As you can imagine, a laundry machine leeches a lot of power over the years. So when it’s not being used, unplug it to save energy.
3. Fast cycle
Use the fast cycle, or short cycle. It’s really that simple. Most items don’t need 3 hours in the machine to be cleaned. I pretty much only use the Mini 30 cycle on my machine, and it cleans my clothes and towels just fine.
Your clothes don’t need to be washed at 40 or 60 degrees. Just because the label says you can, doesn’t mean you have to. If you have a proper machine and detergent, you can wash everything on 30 or even 20 degrees. Doing this saves a lot of energy.
Finally, when your clothes are nice and clean, they still need drying. I got rid of our dryer a few months ago and I haven’t missed it once. Besides costing me absolutely nothing, line drying actually saves me even more money by not wearing down my clothes so much. I also find it very relaxing to hang the clothes outside in the sun. And when it’s starts to get rainy, I already bought a second hand clothesline to use indoors. It’s retractable so it won’t be taking up any space when not in use.
Of course you can take this as far as you want. Some people don’t use a machine anymore at all, and just wash their clothes in the bathtub or shower. I think that’s taking it a bit too far, but then again, the methods I mentioned above might be taking it to far for other people. Whatever you do, remember; a little can go a long way.
Do you have any other ideas to green up your laundry? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebookpage.