Friday, February 24, 2012

Change the World Wednesday - daily challenges

This week Reduce Footprints started posting daily challenges on how we can better our lives and the environment at the same time.  It's hard for me to do the daily ones just because I don't have a ton of free time, I do follow them and figure I'll post once a week or a couple times a week regarding the different challenges.

Yesterday the challenge was to say no to bottled water and yes to a re-usable bottle.   If you know me, you know that this isn't hard for me. I have several re-usable bottles and always seem to want more (in fact I'll be ordering a new one within the next week or so haha). I don't really see the point of bottled water. I know people who keep it stocked in their fridge and use it at home. Um, why? Our fridge has a water filter in it so when I want water I just grab a cup and use that. If I'm headed to the gym or we're going to be doing errands for awhile, I grab a re-usable bottle and fill it up with the water function on (in?) our fridge. Problem solved.  I also keep one bottle at work during the week that I fill up and use all day, no buying bottled water for me. If I forget to pack a bottle in my gym bag I usually remember this while at work and just take the work one with me. Problem solved.

Today the challenge was to limit the use of your laundry machine.  Here's what Reduce Footprints has to say:

Only use your washing machine when you have a full load, and run it on cold whenever possible. Run at maximum spin to reduce drying times and avoid using a tumble drier, opting instead for a clothesline. A typical washing machine uses 90% of its energy to heat the water. Generally, cold water gets your clothes just as clean and saves about 2 pounds of CO2 per load.

Now, I actually feel like I do a lot of laundry for two people yet I know the loads are full.  The only one you could argue could be fuller is the workout clothes, but come on, I only have enough to get through 1 week so I have to do those once per week. Due to the type of clothing (boy does it hold in stink) I use a detergent specific for sports clothing so that's why I don't mix the clothes in with others.    Even so, it's still a decent sized load.    I also always use cold water.  As far as drying, we do use our drier for each load. I've touched on this before and the reason I don't try to dry outside is due to my allergy issues.  However, I make up for it by having 2 laundry lines hung up in my laundry room. If the item is not dry the first time through the dryer, I hang it up instead of running it through again.  This helps out immensely!  


  1. Years ago, before reusable bottles were so available, we'd swing by a convenience store for a bottle of water whenever we went for a drive. I look back at that and think what a waste and what an expense. Once we got our reusable bottles, the biggest obstacle was just remembering to take them with us when we left the house. It took awhile to make it a habit. But, it's now part of our routine like grabbing our keys ... we fill it and off we go. We're lucky & have excellent city water so ... it's the tap for us.

    We aren't allowed to dry our clothes outside (we live in an apartment complex) and we just don't have the room inside for drying racks. So we use our dryer. But, I organize it such that I only do full loads and then I do all my loads consecutively, not allowing the dryer to cool off between loads. It's amazing how much energy that saves. And, like you, if something isn't quite dry, I just hang it over the shower rod to finish drying.

    Thanks, as always, for a terrific post!

  2. Small Footprints - You know, our tap water is really good too. I've just found that I can tell a difference between using regular tap and the filtered from the fridge, so I always use the filtered. Plus, it's already really cold. haha

    I try to do consecutive loads too but have also found that I don't like being tied to the laundry on the weekend so a lot of times I'll do a load or two during the week after work. I figure that sometimes convenience like this is better than being super green. If it's a weekend where we are doing stuff around the house or no plans to go out, I will do all the laundry though because I have heard it saves energy to do that.