“Why should you care about greening your laundry? For starters, many of the chemicals found in common laundry products are hazardous to both humans and the environment (and many more have not been thoroughly tested for safety). Any product that clothing is exposed to – including detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets – coats the fabrics in residues that inevitably come in contact with skin. Effects of direct or airborne exposure to these pollutants can include headaches, dizziness, respiratory issues, and even cancer. Chemicals from these products can also contaminate soil and groundwater after entering the sewer system, and are toxic to marine life.
Disappointingly, products labeled “green,” “natural,” or “organic” have been found to emit just as many dangerous chemicals as standard consumer goods. Many of these chemicals are considered carcinogenic and contribute to air pollution. “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that indoor pollution from cleaning products is likely to be hazardous to health, but there are no federally enforceable standards for their use in the home.”
Convinced it’s time to make some changes in the laundry room? Reduce your impact on the environment (and improve your health) by making any or all of the following changes to your laundry routine.”
- Make Your Own Dryer Balls to decrease drying time by separating clothes and letting hot air circulate more easily; this cuts down on the energy used to power the dryer. The more dryer balls you add to a load, the more effective they are. Wool dryer balls also eliminate the harmful chemicals and perfumes found in most conventional fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Plus, they’re made from a renewable resource. The wool balls reduce static and soften clothes the natural way.
- Make Your Own Laundry Detergent at home. This simple recipe calls for glycerin soap, washing soda, baking soda, citric acid, and coarse salt. Or try soap nuts, which release saponin, a compound that helps water remove dirt and stains from clothing when agitated in the washing machine. Compost your used soap nuts for extra green points.
- Make Your Own Fabric Softener by adding 20 to 30 drops of your favorite essential oil to one gallon of white vinegar. To use, shake the mixture and add approximately 1/3 cup of the mixture during the rinse cycle.
- Scent Laundry the Non-Toxic Way by adding stuffing a sachet with dried herbs and flowers such as lavender or peppermint and toss it in the dryer with your clothes.
Read more tips in detail here
Whether you adopt all the tips on this list or pick and choose your own eco-friendly laundry regimen, you’ll be doing a service for the health of your household and the environment for years to come.
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Do you have any other green alternatives / tips when doing your laundry? Let us know with a comment!