That laundry basket fills up fast. But washing dirty clothes and linens uses tons of water and power, and most dry cleaners include toxic chemicals. Follow these tips to help keep the planet as tidy — and abundant! — as your wardrobe.
Lighten the Load
Why: Washing machines can use as many as 40 gallons of water per load, and a typical clothes dryer produces more than 1,400 pounds of CO2 each year (from the electricity used to run it and heat the water).
What to do: Cut back on the number of loads you wash by spot-cleaning and hand-washing your garments. Use cold water washes unless clothing is super-dirty- most clothes don't need a warm water wash. Besides conserving resources, it makes your clothes last longer and colors stay darker. Make sure to always choose the appropriate wash size. Some new models of washers automatically adjust, but if yours doesn't, use the knob that indicates whether a wash is small, medium or large.
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