The cry of “GTL” – gym, tan, laundry – shows that even the Jersey Shore cast understands the importance of clean clothes.
But running a load of whites in cold water? That can be a pretty big leap of faith, but it’s one that’s worth it if you’re looking to lessen your environmental impact. According to the New York Times, “about three-quarters of the energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions from washing a load of laundry come from heating the water — a practice that, scientists say, is often wasteful and unnecessary.” And clothes washed in cold water last longer, too.
Even if you’re not quite ready to make the switch from hot water, using less detergent for each load will help the environment, too. Look for the “2x” or “3x” concentrated formulas and you should be able to get clothes just as clean while only using one-half to one-third as much detergent.
Another way to keep clean/live green is to use the dishwasher instead of doing dishes by hand. The Department of Energy and treehugger.com tell us that the average dishwasher uses 6 gallons of water per cycle. For Energy Star appliances, it’s even less – only four gallons per cycle. Since the average faucet flows at two gallons per minute, you’d need to move awfully fast to get through that stack of pots, pans, plates, cutlery and glasses. In fact, you’d only be able to use about a cup of water per piece of dishware to be more efficient, which may not leave your dishes as clean as you’d like.
So remember, by its very nature, apartment living is greener than living in a single-family home – consider what it takes, as far as water and energy, just to maintain a single lawn, and these savings become clearer. On Earth Day and every day, it’s important to understand how to get these kinds of savings which help your bottom line and the environment at the same time.