by Jessica Jensen
Your laundry room consumes a lot of energy and water. Here are suggestions for minimizing its impact.
Wash and dry the ENERGY STAR way. Your washer and dryer are two of the biggest resource hogs in your house. Between the two of them, they can produce 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, the same amount produced by driving cross-country in your car!
But this also means they present a huge impact reduction opportunity if you switch to ultra-efficient ENERGY STAR versions.
Improve the efficiency of your hot water heating. You can do the following:
- Insulate your hot water heater and hot water piping
- Reduce your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees (which also prevents scalding)
- Replace your hot water heater with a tankless hot-water heater — you get instantaneous hot water, no heat waste while unused water slowly cools in the tank and some valuable real estate where the water heater used to sit.
Run laundry on warm/cold cycle rather than hot. It gets your clothes just as clean and saves energy.
Get greener cleaners. Use non-toxic, organic laundry soap.
Reuse your laundry water for your yard. Recycle the drained water from your clothes washer by installing a gray water system to irrigate your plants with water from your sinks, laundry machine, and showers.
Jessica Jensen is a co-founder of Low Impact Living.