When looking for ways to help the environment by reducing our carbon footprint through our laundering skills, there is an abundance of information available on the internet today. Unfortunately, it also takes further research beyond what you’re being given at face value. I found a few site that didn’t even suggest drying your clothes without using electricity, perhaps, a clothes line might do the job well. Or, one of those pentagonal clothes-line-hanging things, I remember a few different types of those fancy backyard laundry assistants.
When ever I’m doing laundry I find myself daydreaming. For me, it’s always scenes from the movie The Sound of Music. I think that where a lot of laundry companies might take their ideas of freshness from as well, only because of the moutainy fresh air and all the beautiful flowers everywhere! Who wouldn’t be happy to do laundry in a setting like that?! It wouldn’t seem much like a chore any more.
Here are 5 helpful tips to more sustainable laundry habits:
- Hand Washing: This is a common sense choice, we all know the implications of using large amounts of energy to do anything. Our costs go up, more and more energy must be provided through electricity companies, this type of consumption is not sustainable for our planet. Washing machines and dryers have inhibited our ability to do work by hand, we use them much too often. On average, people will do their laundry up to 5 times a week! That’s excessive people! Hand washing will certainly reduce costs and energy consumption, so keep it up!
- Clothes Lines: Not only do they bring colour to our backyards and infuse our laundry with the fresh scent of the outdoors, but they are immensely entertaining for children as well! I have numerous childhood memories of running between the billowing sheets, collecting wooden clothes pins and making a monster hand out of them. But, it also taught me some discipline, I wanted to learn to fold the sheets, to know the routine of bringing in the line. There are so many advantages to a clothes line and many ways to get creative about laundry. Don’t be shy!
- Stain Remover: There is a plethora of tips for non-toxic stain removing help online today. I found a very helpful site here, these tips are practical and makes home life more sustainable for the environment, and on the wallet as well. My two favourite stain removing items have to be vinegar and the sun. Yes, the sun. we all complain about how it bleaches the colour out everything, including our hair. Learning how to harness the sun’s powers could possibly be the most money saving tip you ever learned!
- Home-made Detergents: It is so much easier to make this concoction than you may think. It takes much less ingredients than listed on the average detergent bottle, and is a practical way to help reduce living costs as well as making a positive impact on the environment. Here’s all you need to make laundry detergent, no toxic chemicals needed (source):
- 4 cups Borax*
- 4 cups Washing soda
- 2 cups Baking soda
- 4 cups grated bar soap (2-4 bars) (Choose a non-toxic, real bar soap—not a “beauty bar” like Dove or a clear glycerine soap. We use both Kirk’s Castile and Grandma’s Lye soaps for laundry. Omit for cloth diapers.) Essential oil (Optional for scent. is especially nice if you use this detergent for washing cloth diapers.
5. Reduce your amount of laundry!: We are washing our clothes much too often and not taking the precautions we should when using electrical appliances to help. We need to put the effort into doing more work for ourselves by hand, I know that is much easier said than done, but we have the ability.