Line-Hang Laundry to Dry
Line-hanging your laundry is one occasion when the growing strength of the sun’s rays actually comes in handy. You can keep your whites looking white by letting them soak up some sun.
Skipping the dryer also saves your wallet. Dryers are a household’s most energy consuming appliance, and therefore expensive. Line-hanging your laundry also extends the life of your clothes, since dryers pull off fibers (producing lint) and damage elastics over time.
Phosphate-Free Laundry Detergents
Detergents are soaps made from synthetic materials, and have a long history of being loaded with Phosphates. Phosphates help boost the cleaning efficiency of detergent, but have harmful effects on rivers, lakes, streams, and other fresh waters. Phosphorous is an important plant nutrient, but when so much of it pours into natural bodies of water (ultimately from our dishwashers and washing machines) levels of phosphates in these fresh water bodies are much higher than usual.
The result? Algae in the water grow faster than they should, turning clear lakes and rivers green and cloudy. This extra algal growth is not only unappealing to look at, but can also make the water smell bad and make it unsuitable for swimming.
In the long run, the excess algal growth can have devastating impacts on the health and age of a fresh water lake or river, causing eutrophication to speed up, where lakes and other water bodies fill in with dead algae and other organic matter and eventually turn into dry land.
Reduce your impact by only purchasing detergents made without phosphates. Seventh Generation, Ecover Natural, and Trader Joe’s brand are all good to try.
Donate & Recycle Old Clothes
If you are in the market to spruce up your wardrobe, don’t just throw away your clothes. Donate them to Goodwill or give them to a neighbor, friend, or family member.
For clothes that are not in good enough condition to give to a local resale store, turn them into rags for dusting and cleaning around the house.