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:
- 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.
- Wash items only when they’re dirty. For some reason, many people think you have to wash clothes after every wear.
- Energy Star-certified washers use about 25% less energy and about 33% less water than standard models.