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Mixing Your Whites with Green

Protecting the planet often seems like a Herculean feat, but actually, it’s the smallest and simplest efforts that have the most profound and long-lasting impacts.

Laundry is chore few people look forward to, but all people must do frequently– especially if they have a large family! Though typically thought of as a mundane task, washing and drying loads of clothing can be a huge energy and water-wasting activity. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can make laundry day more effective and eco-friendly.

Only Wash Full Loads
Washing machines consume sustainable amounts of energy, so washing your clothing in bulk drastically cuts back on energy consumption. If you must wash small loads of clothing, be sure to pay attention to the water-level setting and adjust the machine appropriately.

Clean Lint Traps
Lint traps fill quickly, especially when you’re washing new clothing items for the first time. To ensure that your dryer is running at peak capacity and not wasting energy, empty the traps after every load.

Air Dry
Hang-dry your clothing as often as you can. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that clothing manufacturers often recommend that certain fabrics be air-dried instead of machine-dried; however, clothing that is dryer-friendly can still be hung up. Air-drying greatly reduces the energy consumed on laundry day.

Choose Detergent Wisely
Washing clothing in front-loading washing machines or high-efficiency top-loading machines is more ecofriendly than traditional washers because they use less water. The American Cleaning Institute states that detergents designed specifically for high-efficiency machines ensure that clothing comes out well-cleaned.

Separate Clothing Items
Blue jeans and bath towels can take a long time to dry completely. Tossing cotton t-shirts and other lightweight fabrics into the mix make it harder for heavy-weighted items to dry, which in turn causes laundry-doers to push the start button on their dryers multiple times; drying a load of laundry more than once consumes more energy. Separate items when drying so each load can dry in a single run. If necessary, air-dry stubborn towels and jeans.

Courtesy of MCC

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