Going Green, Simple and Cheap: Laundry Rooms

Many people are completely intimidated by the concept of going green. It really feels like if you don’t start using a rain barrel, install solar panels on your roof, eat, drink and breathe 1000% organic, and compost every living thing under the sun, you’re a failure.
But I’m here to tell you that simply isn’t true! There are tons of ways to be green simply and cheaply – and I know because as a young mom, I’m forever on a tight budget. So read on to find out my simple ways to go green, room by room.

I know I’m lucky to have in-house laundry (and a quite nice washer and dryer, at that) so to some of you this may be just rubbing salt in the laundromat wound. But trust, this advice isn’t just for people with whole rooms dedicated to laundering their wardrobes and textiles; nay, it is for anyone who does laundry at all!

The easiest ways to go green when it comes to the laundry is to conserve at every stage, and I’ll walk you through the simplest steps ever.
Conserve Detergent
Chances are you’re using too much laundry detergent. I’m guilty of it myself, yet all it took for me to reevaluate my detergent usage was to read the bottle and follow the guidelines. Actually, you can use about 25% less than the manufacturers suggest and your laundry will come out just as clean, if not more so due to lack of soapy residue.
Another way you can make sure to save on detergent is to buy concentrated, earth-friendly formulas. With a careful hand, you can make your detergent last, save your washing machine from over-sudsing, and put less chemicals into the water supply — with aroma-therapeutic scents to boot.
Conserve Water
Make sure that when you do a load of laundry, it’s just that — a full load. That will keep you from wasting water and detergent on half loads, as well as the water to wash the clothes.
While you’re at it, most loads of laundry can be washed on the cold setting (actually I grew up doing laundry this way, so I was surprised others used a setting besides cold) which saves energy costs on heating the water as well as helps your clothes to last longer.
Conserve Energy
Have the ability to line dry? It’s a great way to save energy costs and be more enviro-friendly. If you don’t, don’t fret — just make sure to set your dryer on the lowest heat source possible and set it for extra tumble.
Another way to save on drying time is to use the extended spin cycle on the washer, which makes sure the majority of water is removed from your clothes before they even reach the dryer. And if you’d like to be as energy-efficient as possible (as well as SAFE as possible) clean out the lint screen before AND after each dryer cycle. Nothing wastes energy more than a dryer clogged up with hair, lint, and other various laundry debris.
If you follow these extremely simple tips, you’ll be greening up your laundry room (or laundromat) in no time. What are some other ways you keep your laundering habits green? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for the next in line in our series — basements and attic spaces.
Photo: Ghostboy

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