I’ve been a HUGE fan of my Green Wash Ball for the past couple of years but I think I’ve found something new to try when my GWB retires in April after 3 years of use. The GWB is fabulous and is just a very small amount of plastic in comparison to the many, many plastic bottles of detergent I’ve avoided purchasing over the years but Earth’s Berries are plant matter that when finished with can be composted! These little berries do the washing for a year – 350 loads. They are grown naturally organic in the Himalayas and are harvested in a small Indian village giving employment to 130 people. They’re not quite as simple as tossing the GWB in the washer and walking away. For hot washes yes, you toss them in but for cold washes (which is normally what I do) you have to soak them in hot water for a few minutes and then put them in, along with the water from soaking. A few more steps involved but well worth it. Read more about them – they really do sound fantastic!
I just came across these in Whole Living Magazine. These wool dryer balls are made from recycled sweaters and will help to cut drying time and keep your laundry soft and fluffy. I currently have plastic/rubber dryer balls but these are awesome! I normally wouldn’t buy wool but since they’re made out of old sweaters that would otherwise be tossed I wouldn’t feel so bad purchasing them. I love the various patterns and colors – they add some fun to an otherwise boring job of laundry. Check them out at Ela’s Idea on Etsy.
I’m super excited about these new laundry detergent bottles from Seventh Generation! They’re made from 70% recycled cardboard and 30% recycled newspaper. Obviously there is some plastic involved in the cap and the inner pouch but this is fantastic! I don’t purchase their detergent since I use the Green Wash Ball but I do use their fabric softener so I’m hoping they have good results with these and use them for their fabric softener as well! Read more about them here
I’m still using this – it’s amazing! LOVE it!
Bleach is terrible for the environment and not very safe for humans. It is an EPA registered pesticide. The Clorox label reads:
“DANGER: CORROSIVE. May cause severe irritation or damage to eyes and skin.”
Do you really want to have that in your house??
So, instead of using bleach for my laundry I use OXO Brite and it does a fantastic job of keeping our whites nice and bright!
something I found worth sharing…
Clotheslines Across America
By Chris – September 2, 2009 – Seventh Generation Blog
Did you know that drying clothes outside on a clothesline is illegal in some states? Alexander Lee has spent more than a decade trying to change this. Founder and executive director of Project Laundry List Mr. Lee says, “I have been working to make clotheslines a ubiquitous part of the American landscape, as they are in most other nations. We launched National Hanging Out Day (April 19) in 1998 and in 2007 we made the front page of the Wall Street Journal for starting a green movement. Today, there is legislation that will make it possible for more people to use outdoor clotheslines being considered in seven states from Hawaii to Maine.”
Mr. Lee is now on tour, traveling to nine cities and towns including New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC. British filmmaker Steven Lake will follow his every move. Project Laundry List is making air-drying and cold-water washing acceptable and desirable as simple and effective ways to save energy when cleaning your clothes.
Over the next year, Project Laundry List seeks to post a picture of a clothesline from every populated municipality in the United States to Clotheslines Across America. The tour is designed to put pressure on the White House to install a clothesline there once again.
Project Laundry List estimates that more than 15% of residential energy gets eaten up by the tumble dryer and by washing with warm or hot water in the median American household.
The Vinegar Institute is a fabulous resource for tons of great tips using vinegar. It really is amazing what vinegar can do. It is cheap and good for the environment so make use of these tips!
Relieve sunburn – Lightly rub white distilled or cider vinegar on skin. Reapply as needed.
Bug Spray – Combine equal amounts of water, white distilled vinegar and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Use on skin, as needed.
Keep Flowers Longer – Keep flowers fresh longer. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a 1-quart vase of water. Trim stems and change water every five days.
Pest fighter – A teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water helps keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of one teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.
Carpet stain removal – A mixture of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water will remove non-oily stains from carpets. Apply it to the stain with a soft brush or towel and rub gently. Rinse with a towel moistened with clean water and blot dry. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone. Then dry quickly, using a fan or hair dryer. This should be done as soon as the stain is discovered.
Brass polish – Brass, copper and pewter will shine if cleaned with the following mixture. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and stir in flour until it becomes a paste. Apply paste to the metals and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse with clean warm water and polish until dry.
Cleaner Dishes and Glasses – Pour 1 ½ cup to 2 cups white distilled vinegar in the bottom of dishwasher, along with regular dishwasher soap. Wash full cycle.
Bumper stickers – Remove bumper stickers by repeatedly wiping the sticker with white distilled vinegar until it is soaked. In a few minutes, it should peel off easily. Test on a small invisible area of the car to ensure there will be no damage to the paint.
Paintbrush softener – Soak the paintbrush in hot white distilled vinegar, and then wash out with warm, sudsy water.
Fruit stains – Remove fruit or berry stains from your hands by cleaning them with vinegar.
[from the January 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times]
Laundry detergents have improved to the point where hot water is no longer necessary to remove smells and stains. Because about 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes goes to heating the water, setting the cycle on warm instead of hot can cut a load’s energy consumption in half. Going cold will even save more.
Savings: $43 or more per year!
I personally wash all of my colored clothes in cold water. I admit that I’m bad and use hot water for whites because I feel it helps to keep them brighter. I figure that if I can keep them brighter then I will keep them longer and not have to replace them, so by sacrificing the hot water I save money by not purchasing new things and I save on natural resources that go into creating the new garment or towel that I would otherwise purchase – I can’t stand yellow-ish whites, so when they get to that point they get donated.
[from Vegetarian Times]
To improve dryer efficiency by 30 percent, remove lint from the filter after every use. A clear filter eases the strain on airflow, making it easier for the dryer to pull moisture from clothes.
When my dryer is running I typically pull open the door and clean out the lint once or twice during the cycle….that way there is never very much lint straining airflow! My dryer is in my kitchen so I’m always walking passed it anyway.
I wanted to follow-up on my earlier post and let you all know that I’m loving my new GreenWashBall! Check out how it works. I’m saving money on detergent and my clothes are clean and fresh. They say you don’t necessarily need to use fabric softener as it also softens clothing but I like things extra soft so I’m still using it. It is a great feeling to know that I’m not wasting all of that plastic on detergent containers nor contributing to carbon emissions from the shipping of heavy detergent from factories to warehouses and then to stores. By reusing this little ball I’m even saving water since a great deal of detergent is actually water!
Also, one of my favorite sites EcoStiletto has a connection with them to get you 20% off if you enter “ecostiletto” at checkout.