Eco-Friendly Ways to Care for Your Clothes

Man putting laundry into an eco-friendly washing machine

Reducing your environmental footprint is about more than just saving money – it’s about conserving earth’s resources so we can make it a beautiful place to live. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to feel good about your use of resources right at home. From water to energy, here are our favorite tips to help reduce your impact on the environment while still caring for your wardrobe.

Wear Everyday Clothes More Than Once

For everyday clothing, it’s okay to wear things more than once. In fact, Levi’s CEO, Chip Bergh, maintains that jeans do not need to be put into the washing machine. Bergh himself went on to publish “The Dirty Jeans Manifesto” on LinkedIn clarifying his stance as an environmental one: washing jeans once a week would waste over 3,500 liters of water over the course of two years. The environmental impact is simply not worth it.

…But Make Exceptions Based on Use

That being said, specialized items do require special care. Work coats, ski boots and gloves should be washed and dried according to the manufacturer’s care instructions on a regular basis. This does more than protect your clothing – it helps keep you healthy, too. Proper care of work and athletic gear reduces the risk of fungal infections and contagious diseases like Staph and MRSA.

Wait for a Full Load

Be sure you have a completely full load of laundry before you load up the washer. Even energy-efficient washers use anywhere from 13-26 gallons of water per eight pound load. This can help save unnecessary water use – and means fewer loads for you in the long run. We’ll take less work (and less waste) any day!

Buy an Energy-Efficient Washer

Consumer Reports rated high-efficiency (HE) washers and found that different brands and styles deliver different results. Look for a washer that uses 17 gallons of water or less per eight pound load of laundry. Front-loaders typically use less water and clean better as well. Check Consumer Reports before making a purchase to see what kind of ratings your washer has received.

Wash in Cold Water

It is estimated that the average washer uses 90 percent of its energy to heat the water it uses for each wash. Only 10 percent of the energy used goes into the operation of the washer itself. The answer to this is simple: don’t heat the water. Washing your clothes in cold or tepid water can do a great deal for the environment – and for your pocketbook.

Efficient Drying Methods

Bring back the clothesline! For lightweight shirts and linens, hanging things to dry on the line is totally fine. There are also aluminum drying racks you can purchase from the store. Eliminating heat from your drying routing may even help preserve lightweight cottons that otherwise break down with each wash.

For heavy duty clothes that require a more involved drying process, choose an Energy Star-rated dryer. Be sure to clean the lint trap frequently to increase safety and efficiency. Wall-mounted ski boot dryers can also help care for items that can’t (or shouldn’t) go into the dryer. Our wall-mounted and portable drying systems in particular are great because they only use a minimal amount of energy to begin with. From there, you can choose between ambient or warmed air at the flick of a switch. We love the concept of taking control over your home energy use!

There is a lot you can do to help conserve resources – and save money – at home. Simply changing your habits can make a big difference on the impact you have on your environment. To learn more about the way a wall-mounted boot dryer could change laundry day for you, contact our team for a quote.

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