Ways to save energy when doing laundry

9 06 2008

In inspiration from my previous post, here are some easy ways for you to save energy, save money, and also help save the environment…

1. Wash your clothes in cold water

2. Use biodegradable detergents

3. Try to avoid doing small loads of laundry, or washing one item. Be efficient and use the full capacity of your washing machine each time you use it.

Tips for drying:

1. Avoid using your dryer as much as possible! Hang out your clothes to dry on either a laundry line or on a laundry rack.

Why do this? Well first, dryers use an incredible amount of energy, so you will be decreasing your energy used and your household energy bill. Second, air drying your clothes will actually cause them to last longer. You know all that lint that collects in your dryer? That’s your clothing being slowly worn away at! So if you want to save some money by not having to buy new clothes and make your favorite items last longer, air dry!

But what about socks and underwear? Okay, I can understand that some may feel like there are some items that just need to be done in a dryer because it would be weird to having on a laundry line outside for the neighbors to view. If you feel this way, go ahead and dry them, but try to make sure you efficiently use it. Let me clarify. Do you usually run the dryer for your whites and then later for your darks? Because you will be using less space in your dryer because of air drying, don’t run your dryer until you’ve done all your load of laundry and combine them all those pieces you don’t want to air dry in one dryer load.

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Props to the UK

9 06 2008

It is my great pleasure to be able to say that the UK is developing a waterless washing machine. From Reuters:

A washing machine using as little as a cup of water for each washing cycle could go on sale to environmentally conscious Britons next year.

Xeros Ltd, which has been spun out of the University of Leeds to commercialize the technology, said on Monday the new machines would use less than 2 percent of the water and energy of a conventional washing machine.

Plastic chips are used to remove dirt and stains from clothes, leaving them dry and reducing energy consumption as there is no need to use a dryer after the washing cycle, Xeros said in a statement.

The firm, which recently secured investment of almost 500,000 pounds ($984,400) from IP Group Plc, told Reuters the price of the new machines was “not expected to be dramatically different from (conventional) washing machines.”

Washing machine usage has risen by 23 percent in the past 15 years. The average UK household uses almost 21 liters of water daily on clothes washing, 13 percent of daily household water consumption, according to Waterwise, a non-government organization focused on decreasing water wastage in Britain.

A typical washing machine uses about 35 kilograms of water for every kilogram of clothes, in addition to the power needed to heat the water and dry the clothes

There are more than two million washing machines sold in Britain annually, with a value of about 1 billion pounds, Xeros said. 1.

1. “UK to give waterless washing machine a spin.” Reuters. 9 June 2008. 9 June 2008 <http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSL0967346220080609&gt;.