So the fall school and social seasons have kicked off along with new goals you've set for yourself. Many Nation members tell us they want to be more active in their communities, and make a stronger commitment to the environment. One easy place to start is with your laundry.
First, make sure you are using washers that save energy. ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers use about 30% less energy and over 50% less water than regular washers. Many qualified clothes washers also have a greater capacity than conventional models, meaning fewer loads of laundry.
Then, do your washing in cold water. Most of the energy used in the laundry cycle goes toward heating the water. Many manufacturers, including Seventh Generation, make concentrated laundry liquid that works great in cold water. Plus, Seventh Generation's Natural 2X Laundry Liquid is also nontoxic, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and it's not tested on animals.
To save even more money and precious environmental resources, skip the dryer. Instead, hang your clothes to dry on the line, on drying racks or on hangers hooked to the shower curtain rod. If you choose to use your dryer for towels and linens, clean the lint filter regularly to maximize efficiency, and reduce drying time.
Make sure you load the machine as full as you can, to cut down on frequency of wash cycles. If you don't have enough for a full load but need your clothes clean, see if your roommate wants to share space with you in the washer, or select a low-water setting.
These tips should help you get started for a clean, easy, and environmentally sound back-to-school season.