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Green Laundry Tips!

1. Use an energy efficient washing machine

A high efficiency washer may use less than half the amount of water of a conventional top loader. While a top loader can use as much as 54 gallons of water, the most efficient machines use only seven. Multiply that savings by the hundreds of loads you do each year, and you’re saving thousands of gallons of water. Replacing an older washer with a high efficiency one will likely pay for itself over the machine’s lifetime.

2. Wash less often

Some folks have been trained to think that if they wear something once, it needs to hit the hamper. Not so. If it looks and smells clean, go a little longer between washes and you’ll save water, energy, and time. Run only full loads and save still more energy and water.

3. Use cold water

Cut the energy used to clean your clothes by choosing cold water settings as often as possible. Up to 90% of the energy used to wash your clothes goes to heating water! This simple switch may also save you hundreds of dollars per year.

4. Avoid harmful chemicals

Conventional detergents, stain removers, and dryer sheets contain synthetic chemicals linked to endocrine disruption, developmental toxicity, and other health concerns. If something smells “good,” remember it’s a chemical making that smell.

5. Use a clothesline or dryer balls to reduce energy consumption

Clothes dryers are second only to refrigerators in household energy use, so cutting back on drying will reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Line-dry clothes when you can, which will also help your clothes last longer. In winter, if you don’t have a good place for a clothesline outside, you can hang clothes inside to dry.

6. Run your dryer only when necessary, and do so efficiently

When you do run the dryer, be sure to keep your lint screen clean so air can flow and dry your clothes faster. Also, try dryer balls to reduce dry time and soften clothes. Dryer balls let you avoid the harmful chemicals in conventional dryer sheets; you can add essential oils if you want your clothes scented.

-Gloria Sefton

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