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.

ahb
6/5/2008 12:59:59 PM

Of course, the easiest way to green your laundry habits (and save some serious energy and $$) is by skipping the dryer and hanging your laundry the old fashioned way! See www.laundrylist.org


sara mason
6/4/2008 9:47:17 PM

I'm all for going "green" and saving energy where ever possible. Are front loaders about twice the price of top loaders? and don't you have to use special HE detergent? Is it safe to add the baking soda and vinegar to these very expensive machines? Anyone know? I'd hate to spend all the cash on these front loaders, take a chance with baking soda and vinegar, and then make a warranty invalid just because I tried to be more green. And any suggestions on being green and what to do with the top loaders you are replacing? Toss them in the dump? Seriously, what do you do with them? Any green way of disposal?