There are many ways to create an eco-friendly home laundry room that is both practical and pleasant. These tips include using natural materials, light and pale room colors, energy and water-saving appliances, unscented detergents, comfortable storage, and attractive accessories.
One simple change that will save you money and energy is to wash your clothes in cold water. Switching to cold water saves you up to 90% of the energy it takes to heat hot water!
1. Choose Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star appliances help you save money and reduce your environmental impact. They can also help you wash and dry more clothes in less time, making your life easier.
ENERGY STAR, a government-backed program run by the EPA and Department of Energy, uses standardized testing to determine the efficiency of products.
To earn the ENERGY STAR certification, manufacturers must test their products using third-party laboratories and adhere to strict guidelines for performance and energy efficiency. They must then display the ENERGY STAR logo and the yellow Energy Guide label, which shows estimated energy use and cost.
2. Install a Dryer Rack
A dryer rack enables air drying of heavy and delicate items, like shoes or sweaters. These racks are designed to fit into the drum of your dryer and help protect them from tumbling around during the tumble drying cycle.
Dryer racks can be found in a variety of styles. Many can be mounted to a wall or hung over a door, and some fold down for storage.
3. Install a Water Filter
A water filter is one of the most effective ways to make your home more environmentally friendly. It helps you save money on bottled water and prevents plastic from ending up in landfills.
It also helps keep your appliances running at full capacity and saves you energy by removing sediment that can build up in water-using devices like dishwashers, hot water tanks, and washing machines.
The best kind of filter for your needs depends on how much water your household consumes daily. If your family uses a lot of water, you’ll need a filter that can produce a high flow rate.
4. Switch to Cold Water
Washing with cold water saves money and helps the environment. Almost 90 percent of the energy used to clean laundry comes from heating water, so switching to cold water can significantly cut your carbon footprint.
Modern washers are designed to work with low-temperature settings, and today’s detergents are also more effective when working in lower temperatures. However, it is always important to read your fabric care label to ensure that you are washing in the right temperature setting for your garments.
5. Switch to an Eco-Friendly Detergent
It might seem like a small step, but changing to an eco-friendly detergent can make a big difference in the long run. Many conventional laundry products contain harmful chemicals that can irritate your skin, pollute waterways and harm marine life.
Eco friendly detergents are typically made from natural ingredients and can come in sustainable or recyclable packaging. They can also be biodegradable and free of synthetic dyes and fragrances.
6. Get Rid of Fabric Softeners
Fabric softeners (wash-in liquids, powders, or heat-activated dryer sheets) make clothes softer, reduce pilling, remove wrinkles, and eliminate static. They can also help reduce color fade and wear.
They’re also a big contributor to environmental pollution, releasing chemicals like preservatives and dyes into our waterways. These can damage marine life and create dead zones, threatening the habitats of other living things.
They can also ruin your clothes’ ability to absorb water and detergent, making them less likely to hold up to washing. And they’ll start to lock in bad odors, defeating the purpose of doing laundry.
7. Get Rid of Tumble Dryers
Dryers are one of the most energy-consuming appliances in your home. And they contribute to a large percentage of carbon emissions.
That’s why it’s important to get rid of them when possible.
Instead, hang clothes to dry. It’s cheaper, energy efficient and reduces wear and tear on your clothing.
If you do need to use a dryer, choose an energy efficient model with a moisture sensor that shuts off when clothes are dry. This will ensure you’re not wasting energy and is a great way to cut down on your carbon footprint.