Go green with your laundry

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By ArchanaRaoD’cruz

While there are multiple lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint, the simplest way would be to go green with your laundry habits. Changing the way you do laundry has a huge impact in terms of reduction of energy and water consumption, and in contributing to  a greener world by bringing down pollution.

Don’t wear it just once

Clothes that have been lightly used or worn for short periods can be reused. Unless it is dirty or smelly, reuse clothing before tossing it in the laundry basket. This is a simple way to reduce the number of wash loads, do less laundry and cut down on the environmental impact of your laundry.

Upgrade to an energy-efficient washer and dryer

If you purchased your machine before 1984, it’s worth replacing it with a newer and greener model. Using an energy-efficient model can reduce water and energy consumption. In fact, an average front-loading washing machine uses at least 38% water less per year when compared to a top-loading washing machine.

Watch the temperature

Heating up the water comprises 90% of the energy consumption of a washing machine; the motor to run the machine uses only 10% of the energy. If every washing machine in US, for instance,used only cold water, 34 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions would be cut down, about 8 percent of the Kyoto target for the US.

Wash full loads

The minimum water consumption for one machine load of laundry is over 150l. If you reduce the laundry loads by washing only full loads, that’s a lot of saving in terms of energy, water and money.

Use green laundry products

Laundry products that use vegetable-based ingredients are gentler on the skin, the clothes and the ecosystem where the dirty laundry water ends up. So read the fine print to make sure that the laundry products are biodegradable and free from phosphates, chlorine, synthetic fragrances and dyes. If you want to go a step ahead, make your own laundry products using common kitchen ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Dump the dryer

When it comes to energy guzzling, the dryer stands at number two on the list of household machines (the refrigerator is the topper!). Using a clothesline can save you the cost of buying and maintaining a dryer. Using a clothesline or a drying rack not only cuts energy consumption but also extends the life of your wardrobe. An environmental bonus: You save 700 pounds of carbon emissions every year by eliminating the use of the dryer.

These are just a few ways to make the Earth a greener, cleaner place. These eco-friendly practices are not just good for the Earth but also for your wardrobe and your bank balance! Do you have any useful tips on doing laundry the green way? Do write in with your comments and suggestions.

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