It’s cold out, which means it’s time people start thinking of all the different ways they are going to improve their lives in the coming year. Working out, eating well and spending less are a few popular goals, but what about taking the time to improve both yourself and the planet by having a more environmentally friendly daily life?
Luckily, with each new year it seems a little bit easier to form eco-friendly habits. Organic foods have become more accessible and environmentally sound household products line our grocery store shelves. Even still, there are simple actions you can take at home that will help improve the environment and, often, your bank account too. Here are our Top 5 suggestions.
1.) Clean Your Clothes the Right Way
According to the experts on energy efficiency at Energy Star, the average household does almost 400 loads of laundry each year, which consumes about 13,500 gallons of water. And don’t think this lets your dryer off the hook. For most families, the dryer is one of the primary energy-wasters in the home.
Luckily, there are a multitude of ways to cut back on water and energy waste produced by run-of-the-mill washer and dryers. For example, by only using cold water when washing your clothes, you’ll save on the energy required to heat warm or hot water, while also preventing shrinkage and color-fading from occurring to your clothing. When using cold water, you’ll also want to invest in an eco-friendly, biodegradable liquid detergent (it’ll break down better than the dry stuff when used in cooler water).
In terms of drying your clothes, it’s not necessary to ditch the dryer entirely, but switching to a line dryer even part of the time will help save quite a bit on energy. Cleaning the lint filter after each drying session is another good rule of thumb, since it keeps the hot air moving efficiently and shortens the amount of drying time.