If you have the luxury of regular access to a washer and dryer, you’re likely to use it often. Who could possibly forgo that convenience? But washing and drying our clothes via machine is an energy intensive process that pulls money from our wallets and pushes carbon emissions into our atmosphere. Surely, we can green this process a bit.
Nearly 90 percent of the energy used in washing your clothes goes toward heating water used in the process. That leaves about 10 percent that goes toward powering the motor of the washing machine. According to Carbon Conscious Consumer, you could save up to $100 per year and cut nearly 72 pounds of carbon emissions per month by washing 80 percent of your loads in cold/cold every month.
By contrast, washing clothes in hot water can be pretty wasteful. According to TreeHugger, if the average household washed each load in a hot/warm cycle, you’d be burning the equivalent of 182 gallons of gasoline. Switching to cold cycles, you’d be wasting the equivalent of eight gallons of gas per year or about .41 pounds of CO2 per load – not great, but not bad either.
Likewise, there are nearly 88 million dryers in the USA. According to TV channel TLC, dryers use up to 6 percent of our average electricity consumption. The solution? Line dry! Put your clothes out to dry the old-fashioned way. Your clothes will smell fresher, you’ll get a little fresh air and it’ll save you money.
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