Tuesday, October 19, 2010

#2 Greening the laundry room

Going green in the laundry room is not only good for the environment, but it WILL save you money.  Here are some simple things you can do to lessen your impact when it comes to laundry.

1.  Wash with cold water whenever you can.  Most energy used in hot wash cycle is strictly to heat the water.  Limit your hot water usage to linens and undies and you'll be lessening your impact.

2. Don't wash your clothes after each time you wear them.  Tight fitting shirts and undies should be washed each time, however your jeans can be worn up to 4-5 times before you toss them in your dirty clothes basket.  If you live in a colder climate, you might be able to push it more.  Real Simple Magazine had a very interesting article over the summer called When to wash it.  It's an easy read, and it will put your mind at ease (I'm not totally nuts...I swear).

3. Use green laundry detergents, or better yet, make your own.  Conventional laundry detergents contain phosphates that encourage algal bloom, and damage marine life.  Look for labels that say phosphate free, plant-based, or biodegradable. One of my favorite companies out there right now is Sun and Earth.  I have tried all of their stuff, and recently had a giveaway.  If you're adventurous you can try one of the many laundry detergent recipes here.

4. Hang your clothes out to dry.  For a while I had a load a day method. I'd wash, and hang that load out to dry.  Rinse and repeat the next day.  It was so very nice.  Laundry never got overwhelming.  Now I'm in an apartment, and I can't hang my clothes to dry like I used to.  I hang some, and utilize hangers in the bathroom on the shower rod.  Where there's a will there's a way, and nothing beats the smell of outdoor dried clothes.  Even in the winter!

5.  If you must use the dryer, maximize it's usage.  Clean out the lint traps after each use, and ditch the dryer sheets.  Conventional dryer sheets often have chemicals in them such as toluene and styrene which are carcinogens.  Correction: Toluene is a carcinogen.  For more information on the harmful effects of styrene, read here. For more thoughts on dryer sheets read here.

6. Skip the dry cleaner.  Conventional dry cleaners use a chemical called perchloroethylene, or perc for short. Not only is this chemical bad for the environment, but it's bad for us too.  It's been linked to increased risks of bladder, esophageal, and cervical cancer. Also eye, nose, throat and skin irritation and even reduced fertility. Omg!




Sources:
1. Top Green Laundry Tips

4 comments:

  1. New follower from Follow Me Back Tuesday! Would love you to stop by and follow me back at To Spend Or Save. http://tospendorsave.blogspot.com

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  2. No authoritative or regulatory body anywhere in the world classifies styrene to be a known cause of human cancer. Moreover, a study conducted by a "blue ribbon" panel of epidemiologists and published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (November 2009) reports: "The evidence of human carcinogenicity of styrene is inconsistent and weak. On the basis of the available evidence, one cannot conclude that there is a causal relationship between styrene and any type of human cancer."

    Priscilla Briones for the Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC), Arlington, Virginia. SIRC (www.styrene.org) is a trade association representing interests of the North American styrene industry with its mission being the collection, development, analysis and communication of pertinent information on styrene.

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  3. Thank you for pointing out that Styrene is not a carcinogen. Here is what the United States Department of Health says about Styrene:

    Health effects of styrene include irritation of the skin, eyes, and the upper respiratory tract. Acute exposure may also result in gastrointestinal effects. Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, weakness, and may cause minor effects on kidney function. The following references aid in recognizing occupational hazards and health effects associated with styrene.

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  4. That snippet was cut and pasted from here.

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