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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

wash your clothes

WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE: The dryer buzzes, you make a mental note of it, but don't actually check the clothes until they're cold and wrinkled hours later. So you turn the dryer on again--and waste lots of energy in the process.

Not only are dryers energy hogs, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency, companies that make laundry detergent use billions of pounds of chemicals every year, many of which end up in our waterways, potentially harming us and wildlife. To ease your imprint, try these tactics:

1. use energy-efficent machines

Look for the Energy Star logo, advises Lawrence Axil Comras, president and CEO of Green Home, an online source for green living. These certified washers use half the energy of a standard machine and can save you 7,000 gallons of water a year.

Eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo recommends front-loading washers by Bosch or Samsung (check out Avoid top-loaders, he says, since they use more water and agitate your clothes in dirty water. And couple your washer with a dryer that has a moisture sensor, which shuts off the machine as soon as clothes are dry. Better yet, skip the dryer altogether and use a drying rack--find one at or air-dry outside.

2. buy cleaner detergent

The big three ingredients to avoid are phosphates, petroleum, and chlorine, says Comras. Labels that claim a cleaner is "free from" perfumes or dyes or that it includes "natural" scents such as lavender can be misleading; these don't guarantee a green product, and the detergent may still contain one or all three of the harmful ingredients. Find a brand you can trust, such as Biotdeen ( or the Clean Environment Company ( You may pay a bit more, but in the end you'll save money: You usually need only three-fourths of the recommended amount, says Comras.

Also opt for concentrated laundry detergents. Smaller containers mean less wasteful packaging, water for production, and fuel for transportation. Try Arm & Hammer Essentials Free unscented, dye-free concentrated formula that uses plant-based soap.

Source Citation:Casey, Elizabeth A. "Green your laundry: two simple ways to wash your clothes--and your conscience.(Make One Change)." Natural Health 38.4 (April 2008): 120(1). Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 6 May 2009
Gale Document Number:A176979123


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Len Wilson

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