It’s laundry day and you want to rethink your commitment to going green. Well, no need to revert to pounding your clothes clean with a rock, though you could! Here are a few ideas for a sustainable and green laundry routine.
Sustainably Powered Washing Machines
Not as scenic, but you can combine your bike ride with laundry by using a pedal-powered washing machine. Not only will you get your heart rate up and strong quads, no electricity needed.
Many options for human-powered washing machines are available. You can find sleek ones that turn the entire front wheel of a stationary bike into a rotating drum for laundry, to less fancy ones that use a cylinder for clothes that connects to a bike chain. The best part is, your pedaling produces the power. No carbon footprint.
What are you washing with?
If you’re like most of us and use standard washing machines, you can still reduce your energy usage with a few adjustments. First, always do full loads, and second, use cold water. This creates less overall loads and lower water usage, and less energy to heat the water. Third, check your washing machine for any energy-saving options like shorter cycles and less spin.
When choosing a laundry soap, old-style products like baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, and lemons are tried and true and non-toxic. Companies continue to step up to provide eco-friendly laundry products with no phosphates, chlorine bleach, dyes or perfumes – chemicals you should definitely avoid. Of course, just because labels say “green” and “natural,” does not mean they are. Read the ingredients and check websites that research eco-friendly products.
The most advanced drying technique – sunshine & a summer breeze
As far as finishing up laundry and going green, just ditch your dryer. Short of hailstorms and bomb cyclones, Colorado’s hot, dry summers provide a perfect place to set up a clothesline. Not only do you save electricity, wear and tear on clothes, and end up with great smelling laundry, you use 100 percent solar power.
Happy laundry day! – 350CO Volunteer Kim Mullen