With Earth Day approaching this weekend, I've pulled together a short list of some easy ways to be green (and save green):
- Wash your clothes in cold water. Every once in a while you may have a load that requires hot water, but washing just 80% of your laundry in cold water for a year could save you more than $60 in energy costs -- and up to $100 if you live in an area with high electric rates.
- Wash less. Your clothes will last longer. Some clothing belongs in the wash after only one use, but many garments can stand two or even three wearings before they need washing.
- Follow directions. Use the amount of laundry detergent that the manufacturer recommends. Using more detergent than necessary actually gets in the way of effective cleansing of the fabrics, which will then require an extra rinse cycle, which uses more energy and water. More is not always better!
- Wash full loads of laundry. Sort clothes and schedule laundering so you can wash only full loads. It takes almost as much electricity to run a small load as it does to run a full one, and it is better for the machine to have a full load during the spin cycle so it doesn't fly off balance.
- Clean your dryer's lint filter before every load. It can slash your energy usage by as much as 30%!
- Don't overload or underload your dryer. Dry a full load in your dryer, but don't overload. It uses way too much energy, and it causes excessive wrinkling, which in turn may force you to iron your clothes, using even more energy.
- Or my favorite tip...put up a clothesline in your backyard (or over you tub). By using a clothesline instead of your dryer, you'll cut your residential energy costs by 5%. That may sound like pennies, but it can add up to savings of over a hundred bucks a year. Check out Project Laundry List for more inspiration and to share your clothesline photo.
And some inspiration...