Utne Blogs > Environment

Green Up the Laundry Room

 by Erik Helin

Tags: environment, green living, laundry, wash, washing machine, Dr. Alan Greene, Raising Baby Green, Eco Child's Play,

Washing MachineWith everything going green, it seems only appropriate that the laundry room, a veritable vacuum of energy and water waste, would be a likely site for improvement. 

The environmental parenting blog Eco Child’s Play offers a host of suggestions for more environmentally friendly laundering. The tips come from the 2007 book Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care, by pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene. 

One of his recommendations is to use a front-loading washing machine (look for an Energy Star) instead of a top-loader. This will save as much as 15 gallons of water per load and use half as much energy. 

Greene also advises alternative means of fabric softening (add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle), combating static cling (add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the wash water), and water softening (“use a soap-based, rather than detergent-based, cleaner”). 

Image by Joshua Sherurcij, licensed under Wikimedia Commons.