I think many of us would agree that we like the air clean, the water clear, and the trees green. Having an eco-friendly mindset is becoming more and more popular, and if you agree with the cause, what better place to start (or continue) taking care of the environment than at home?
Here are a few ways to make your home eco-friendly, save water, and cut back on energy costs—by using two common household appliances, the washer, and dryer!
The Washing Machine
1. Change the temperature
Source: The Big Think
According to Real Simple, about 90% of the energy used by laundry machines is spent just heating up water. The solution is easy: try out your machine’s ‘cold wash’ option!
2. Wash full loads only
It’s no secret that the more loads of laundry you do, the more water and energy you end up using. If you can consolidate or skip your weekly laundry loads in any way, you’ll be well on your way to eco-friendliness. Try keeping your loads to around three a week: separated into darks, lights, and delicates.
3. Upgrade your machine
Source: GE Appliances
If your current one works fine, then there’s no pressing need to replace it right away. However, if you’re looking for a new washer, be sure to check out some energy-efficient models—according to TreeHugger, “switching to an Energy Star-qualified front-loading machine can save as much as 7,000 gallons of water per year.” That’s a lot of water!
4. Switch to natural products
Be kind to the environment by choosing natural detergents and stain removers. Natural products are “usually plant-based, contain biodegradable surfactants, and…perform well in cold water” (remember the first tip?), according to Real Simple. You also won’t have to deal with things like chlorine bleach or synthetic fragrance, which are often found in non-natural products.
1. Reconsider the dryer sheets
Conventional dryer sheets aren’t recyclable, which makes them potentially harmful to the environment. The synthetic chemicals within the sheets are also questionable for human health. However, if you can’t see yourself giving up dryer sheets—and succumbing to static cling—try purchasing an eco-friendly brand like Seventh Generation or Mrs. Meyer’s.
2. Say goodbye to lint
If you clean your lint filter frequently, you’ll automatically “increase efficiency and shorten drying time,” according to TreeHugger. Be sure to check and clean out that filter after every load!
3. Forget ironing
Ironing isn’t very fun, it uses up electrical energy, and it also has the potential to destroy clothes. Wouldn’t it be better to just avoid those issues entirely?
Try this tip: Hang up clothes immediately after the wash cycle, and the leftover water will use gravity to drip-dry your clothes to wrinkle-free perfection.
Still worried about wrinkles? Eliminate the final spin cycle (which leaves more water in the clothes), fold the clothes crisply once dry, and place them under something flat and heavy, which will press-dry them further.
4. Use a drying rack
The best solution to make a dryer more environmentally-friendly? Don’t use it at all.
A cheap clothes rack or clothing line, whether indoor or outdoor, does the job just as well—with the added bonus of lessening your clothing’s wear and tear. Line drying is possible year-round, but be forewarned: keep your dark colors out of bright sunlight or they’ll fade!
Discover more tips and tricks about greener living from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) here.