Green your laundry

My love of line-dried laundry runs deep. My Mom likes to tell the story of a time, early in her marriage before they had a dryer, when she would hang clothes outside year-round in Wisconsin. Yes, she was thrilled to finally get that dryer, since she no longer had to let clothes thaw in the winter. By the time I came around, she still hung clothes on the line, but only in the summer and I remember running between sheets in the sunshine. I absolutely LOVE line-dried clothes, so much so that I anticipate that first day in April when I can hang laundry outside. The smell is what hooks you, but there are so many environmental benefits. Switching to line-drying is one of the biggest energy-savings you can make, plus it helps clothes last longer. I love coarse towels, I know that’s a huge turnoff for some, but you can avoid that by adding vinegar to the rinse cycle. Fabric softeners are full of chemicals, so avoid any and all. A few other sustainable tips for laundry:

  1. Use concentrated, plant-based detergent. I just switched to detergent sheets and I’m thrilled with them. They’re packaged in cardboard, so no more plastic bottles.
  2. Wash items only when they’re dirty. For some reason, many people think you have to wash clothes after every wear. 
  3. Energy Star-certified washers use about 25% less energy and about 33% less water than standard models. 

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