General Question

gse's avatar

What are some environmentally friendly, affordable ways to do laundry?

Asked by gse (15points) October 22nd, 2007

I was looking at our giant plastic bottle of Tide Liquid the other day, and got to thinking how ridiculous it is that we throw those beefy things out every time we’re done with laundry. Certainly, powders must be better since they come in cardboard boxes—but I have to assume that the Tide plant is an environmental nightmare.

I’ve tried some of the “green” laundry products (seventh generation, ecover) at our local co-op, but they’re super expensive and I’m not sure they work as well as the reigning commercial competition.

Does anyone have actual data to point at a good solution?

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3 Answers

sarahsugs's avatar

I’m not sure about the detergent question, but one great way to reduce the environmental impact of doing laundry is not to use your dryer, or to use it as little as possible. It’s a huge energy sucker. Laundry lines or racks are obvious alternatives. You could also damp-dry things in the dryer and then air-dry them the rest of the way.

hossman's avatar

Pound on rock in stream, air-dry.

bw's avatar

@hossman that’s good advice!

This is one of those situations where doing what’s right for the environment ends up being cheaper than the alternative, while involving minimal work.

We’ve been using this method in our house for about six months and it works incredibly well (my clothes are all clean – that’s a good sign), and we’ve enjoyed the cost savings on top of that.

The major bonus is that it’s really much more environmentally friendly on many levels – better ingredients, no box/container waste, etc.

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