We are encouraged to make constructive changes to habits that affect the environment. For example, if we’re not recycling glass, plastic, and paper, we’re encouraged to start. All we need is a small recycling bin for the house and a big one for the curb. Or if we keep our thermostats at 70° in winter, we are encouraged to turn them down to 65° and wear a sweater and slippers if we get cold.
It doesn’t seem like that would do much good, does it? In fact, many small changes add up to big changes over time. One change isn’t much by itself, but make one change per month over 5 years and that equals 60 improvements. Then multiply one household’s changes by 50,000 or 1,000,000, or better yet, 300,000,000 and that equals big change.
And we can start now. I’m talking changes small enough that you don’t feel inconvenienced or uncomfortable. Painless gains.
Here’s one of my small changes: laundry soap. Like most people, I used the big brands of laundry detergent. They removed most of the dirt but left the clothes stiff and with a perfumy smell. I had to buy fabric softener to make them soft again. The softener coats the fibers, so you wash the clothes clean with detergent and then coat them with perfumy goop to make them soft.
The net effect is the clothes aren’t clean anymore, they smell even more perfumy, and you’re buying two products instead of one. The chemicals in both products are gradually altering the chemistry of our environment in ways we do not know that will last we know not how long. Our kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids and their kids will live with the effects. What do we do? There are safer althernatives and it makes sense to start using them as soon as possible.
I went looking for a laundry soap that leaves my clothes clean, soft (so there’s no need for softener), has no smell and is less harmful to the environment. I found several possibilities, read their information and bought the one that sounded best.
It was a 1 gallon jug of liquid. You use 1 oz per load. I add a little more if it’s a big or extra dirty load. I used it for 4 months before assessing how well it worked. We have hard water and it took some time for the built-up residue and perfume smell from the detergent and fabric softener washed completely out. The new laundry soap works well. My clothes come out clean, soft (yes, really soft) and smell like the cloth they’re made from. I haven’t used fabric softener since I switched.
The one I use is Biokleen Free & Clear Laundry Liquid. It also comes as a powder. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and it just plain works. No fuss, no bother. There are similar products from other brands. Try a few and see which one you like best.
Share your environmentally friendly laundry experiences with us.