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Washing and drying clothes

1,801 bytes added, 01:10, 24 April 2008
Reducing the need for washing: new section - == Why does it matter? == incl quote about toxic detergents
Washing and drying are common activities that can use a lot of energy - if we aren't careful. But there are a lot of things, most importantly washing in cold water and line drying, which are not only greener, but will make your [[clothing|clothes]] last longer (as long as you don't leave them outside too long, to fade).
== Why does it matter? ==
=== Energy usage ===
We need to [[energy conservation|use less energy]] with efficient washers, and use [[renewable energy]] where possible.
=== Water usage ===
The more water we use, the harder it is to clean, and the more strain we place on water supply.
We need to:
* Use more water efficient washers,
* Use water at least twice - e.g. use [[greywater irrigation]] of gardens (which requires [[greywater]] treatment and/or using suitable [[detergents]] to avoid poisoning the plants).
=== Water pollution ===
:What do you do when you clean? You take dirt, you add more dirt in the form of chemical agents, and then you put all that dirt somewhere else - usually into the water supply. Once people appreciate that they make other things dirty when they make their clothes clean, they think differently about what they're doing...
:Do you want to take a chemical derived from benzene, put it on your white clothes, let it absorb ultraviolet rays, get energized, and then emit ultraviolet rays with a bluish hue - all to trick your brain into thinking a graying shirt is white? Is there a value to that, especially when it may create health risks? Is it worth the hazards to your kids? - Gunther Pauli, head of Ecover.[]
=== Labor ===
You have better things to do than wash clothes, and you'd rather your hands didn't become dry and cracked, so you would probably choose a washing machine over hand-washing your clothes. Those in poor communities are the same as you, but 1) cannot yet afford a washing machine, and 2) when they can, they will have the same heavy impact on their environment as the rich.
So, how do we have the best of both worlds? We need better designs, and better detergents.
==Reducing the need for washing==

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