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
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!
1. Top Green Laundry Tips