Laundry is a necessary evil that eats through a lot of time, water, and energy… both our personal energy, and our home’s electricity. To help both Mother Nature and our wallets, we have a few simple tips to help cut down on laundry’s carbon footprint.
1. Wash full loads, but make sure the dryer isn’t stuffed
Grouping loads into as few as possible saves energy, as your washer uses the same amount of power regardless of how many clothes you stuff into it. On the other hand, cramming clothes into the dryer isn’t a great move and your clothes will likely emerge wrinkled and damp. Hang dry whenever possible, and use a goldilocks “just right” attitude to make sure your dryer is being used the most efficiently.
2. Wash with cold water
Spending energy on heating up the water when it’s not necessary tacks on another cost to the already energy-heavy task of using a washer and dryer. Cold-water detergents can also be used, helping cut the energy cost almost in half.
3. Use ENERGY-STAR certified appliances
When your beloved old-school machines have run their course, upgrading to newer, ENERGY-STAR washer and dryers can use up to 25% less energy.
4. Hang dry as often as possible
Racks to hang dry clothes on can be purchased for under $30. The collapsible stands can help save money by reducing the need for the dryer and they keep your clothes looking nice for longer, cutting down on how often you need to replace things.
5. Use your dryer’s lower heat settings
While this may seem counterintuitive since it’ll increase the length of your drying time, lowering the heat setting still uses less energy and helps avoid over-drying loads.