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Energy-Saving Laundry Tips

Eco-friendly Laundry

Washing and drying your clothes uses a lot of energy. If you don’t have access to a clothing line, try and use some of these tips to lower the amount of energy you use while getting your household laundering done. The planet will thank you!

Firstly, its always a good idea to wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents. For most of your clothing, this is perfectly fine.

Try and hold out on doing a load until you have enough to wash and dry full loads.

Dry your towels and any other heavy cottons in a separate load from light weight items. This will ensure you aren’t wasting energy by drying items that don’t need as long along with items that do.Additionally, use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.

Always make sure that your dryer’s lint filter/collector is clean, as this will improve the overall efficiency of your machine.

Try and remember to examine the dryer vent to see that it’s cleared of material. This will save energy.

And of course, if at all possible, air-dry clothes when you can. Air-drying is actually way better for most clothes, and will save energy and extend the life of your garments.

Non-Toxic DIY Weed Killers

weeds

Industrial and many store-bought weed killers contain harmful chemicals. You may not be aware of it, but you have the materials you need to kill the weeds in your garden, in your kitchen right now!

Vinegar has been used to kill weeds for many generations. We recommend that you don’t dilute the vinegar with water and that you apply it directly to the weed at a time when its dry out. For more mature weeds, you can use a vinegar with a higher concentrate of acetic acid, and that should do the trick.

Many people swear by simply pouring boiling water directly onto the weed. This essentially kills the weed by destroying the root.

A commonly used combination eco-friendly weed killer recipe is this: 1 quart white vinegar, 1/4 cup salt, 2 teaspoons liquid dish detergent. Mix those ingredients into a spray bottle and apply directly to the weeds. Be careful to not get too much on any surrounding grass or plants that you don’t want to kill.

GoldYarrow

As almost half of the U.S. suffers through one of the worst drought periods in history, people are starting to rethink the value of their lawns are gardens. But do you have to completely abandon the idea of having a green garden? Of course not, but you will have to try and fill that garden with plants that are able to consume far less water. Here’s a list of some of the most drought resistant plants available in North America.

Artemisia
Common Names: Artemisia, mugwort, sagebrush and wormwood.

California Poppy
Common Names: California poppy.
Botanical Name: Eschscholzia californica.

Lavender
Common Names: Lavender.
Botanical Name: Lavandula.

Penstemon
Common Names: Penstemon.

Rugosa Rose
Common Names: Rugosa rose, beach rose, Japanese rose, and salt-spray rose.

Yarrow
Common Names: Yarrow.
Botanical Name: Achillea.

Salvia
Common Names: Red salvia, scarlet sage, and firecracker plant.
Botanical Name: Salvia splendens.

Herman Miller Eco-Friendly LED Leaf Lamp

herman miller leaf lamp

Herman Miller has been on the forefront of sustainable design for decades. One of their more popular designs is the eco-friendly LED Leaf Light. The Leaf uses 40% less energy than lamps that use fluorescent bulbs and lasts 100 times longer than conventional lighting. It is built from 95% recyclable materials, 37% of which can be recycled again.

The Leaf boasts totally adjustable angle, brightness and lighting temperature. The ambiance is adjusted using the different LED settings, with blue for a cooler light and 10 yellow for warmer light. The Herman Miller Leaf lamp comes in five cool colors, so you won’t have any difficulty matching it to your decor.

Using Air Conditioners More Efficiently

air-conditioner

Air conditioners are a luxury for most, and as they are a major strain on the grid, they must be used (if used at all) efficiently and effectively. One of the best things you can do is only run the AC if you are home, and awake. This can most easily be accomplished by getting a programmable air conditioner, that you can set to shut off automatically in the night and during the day when you are not home.

Take a quick look around your home. Are you skipping steps that could decrease the load on your taxed air conditioning system? Make sure that blinds are closed in the afternoon. Install awnings on the outside of the house. These are easy tasks that will greatly improve the temperature in your home, before the A/C is even turned on.

You can also assist the work of your air conditioner by using well-placed ceiling and floor fans to circulate air in your home more efficiently, and to create a cool breeze effect in your space.

Lastly, if your air conditioner is more than ten years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more eco-friendly model. Some newer A/C units can use up to 50% less electricity than older air conditioners.

An Eco-Friendly Barbecue – Coal or Gas?

eco-friendly-barbecue

If you want to make better, green choices when it comes to barbecue season, you can start by not buying charcoal briquettes! Those briquettes usually include materials like sodium nitrate and coal dust, the making of which has contributed greatly to deforestation. Try to find lump charcoal from sustainable forests, which you can find by looking for the Forest Stewardship Council logo on the package.

It was thought that because natural gas burns cleaner than standard charcoal, that it would leave a smaller
overall carbon footprint. This is not the case, as natural gas is a non-renewable energy.

Gas grills use a lot more fuel, especially the newer models with huge grilling space and burners attached. The best choice is to use eco-friendly charcoal which will replace carbon monoxide absorbed by trees, making it, in fact, carbon neutral.