Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Easy Green Tip #1 - Rinse Less & Air Dry

Here is the first in a series of Easy Green Living Tips this week. We hope you'll see how easy it is to make a few changes - often you'll be saving money and cutting down chemical exposure in addition to helping our planet! And if you are already doing these things, please accept our thanks for being Fashionably Responsible!

There's no point to buying fantastic chemical-free, organic, and naturally-dyed clothing if you're going to douse it in chemical laundry products, now is there? Laundry is one of the places in your home where you can get back to basics and avoid a whole lot of nasty chemicals, help the environment, and actually save some money.

Look for fabric washes that are petrochemical-free and concentrated so you can use less (this helps the companies make less and making less saves resources!) At Fashion Ethic, we like Eucalan, a new product from Canada, because not only is it chem-free, but also doesn't require rinsing, so you can save water (and money) in your handwashing and machine cycles. Available in 3 scents and unscented, Eucalan comes in two different sizes and costs about .12 cents a wash.

One of the best things you can do for your clothes is to treat them right, and air drying fabrics is always a good choice. Set up a great drying rack or line near your dryer or over the tub and for goodness sake, quit with the dryer sheets - did you know many contain animal fat in addition to nasty chemicals that stay on your clothes or sheets? Gross!

And while we're on the subject, let us warn you about the dryer balls you see marketed as an eco-friendly "non-toxic" option - an article from TreeHugger suggests they are not so 'eco' after all. They are made of PVC, which is a nasty chemical-laden plastic and the pair we had lasted only about 8 months before cracking and falling apart - guess what? They can't be recycled. Do I really want to throw 2 of these away every 8 months? NO!

Honestly, we know you need the dryer for some loads, so we recommend the Static Eliminator reusable "sheets" that can be found at Gaiam.com. The weave of the fabric does the work - no chemicals are involved, which also makes them a savior for those with sensitive skin or allergies. And since they're meant to last 500 loads, they should last you quite some time if you start using more air drying too!

1 comment:

BellaChela said...

I'm a student at Pomona College in Claremont, California and recently spent a good amount of time looking into the various clothesline and drying rack options since Pomona is going to purchase some for student use and I wanted to get the best available racks for us.

In my research, I was shocked to find that there is NO good website explaining all the different clotheslines and drying rack options, so I made my own! It's a wiki page on the Tip the Planet sustainable living wiki that ANYONE CAN EDIT. You can check it out here: http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Air_dry_washing

I'm trying to spread the word so that the site becomes a clearing house for drying rack information, and people have to spend less time scouring the web for the best products. Have a look, share it with your friends, and by all means add your wisdom!

Take care,