Everyday laundry and cleaning tasks are some of the worst offenders when it comes to ‘greening’ your home. We all know what the main culprits are, but there are plenty of little things you can do to make a difference and save money too…
Tumble Driers v Recycled Pegs
The Number 1, energy-guzzling baddie in the home – tumble driers, particularly older, inefficient machines, can cost as much to run per year as an appliance costs to buy! Any item that generates heat uses more electricity to operate, a definite no-no! Instead hang your laundry outside to dry in the sun or, if not convenient, use shower rods in the bathroom. On cooler days your clothes may take longer to dry but you’ll save money on your energy bill and help the environment too.
To be really green, use clothes pegs made from recycled materials. There’s no point buying products made from precious resources such as wood, when recycled versions do the job just as well, if not better. Recycled plastic uses 70% less energy than that needed for virgin plastic, helping to reduce landfill, conserve precious fossil fuels and reduce emissions. Nowadays you can get pegs, peg baskets and clothes lines all of which are made from recycled plastic. Pegs contain no metal parts to rust and stain your clothes or fly off and hit you in the face! Plastic takes over 400 years to breakdown in landfill but can be recycled many times over thus reducing the need to use precious oil to create new plastic.
Always fill your washing machine before starting the cycle and wash at 30°C rather than 40°C to cut electricity usage.
Ditch the Dishwasher
We all need to reduce water consumption and dishwashers have an unhealthy appetite for this most basic natural resource (see Rebecca’s comment below for clarification). Using the dishwasher less, or not at all, will save money on your energy bill and help preserve water. Instead, invest in a good quality washing up tool made from recycled components that will last for years and is much cheaper than a dishwasher! (Dishmatic do a good one).
Green Cleaning with Meaning!
While it’s easy to rip up old shirts and sheets for use as dusters, some tasks require a tougher, more abrasive approach, such as tackling baked on debris, burnt saucepans, and heavily soiled barbecues. If you do need to purchase task-specific cleaning products such as sponges or scourers ensure you buy recycled varieties. Recycling is crucial because it reduces the demand for raw materials and keeps waste out of landfill. As a nation we are creating more waste because we are consuming more. We are more affluent and are lifestyles are changing to reflect a more ‘ready-made’ society. Buying recycled products is good for Australia because it encourages more recycling and reduces waste.