The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
I’m quite lazy.
I know it looks like I’m a very busy person but I’m not fond of sustained repetitive tasks.
Short bursts? No problem.
Laundry is one if those household events that seems to suck time into it like a wormhole.
I’m also quite mean and if laundry is guaranteed to do one thing it’s cost money. Detergent is one thing that pumps up the supermarket bill.
There are lots of green ways to reduce this task in time, cost and environmental impact.
I want to warn you that this blog post may upset people. Not all of these tips will appeal. Not all will suit your life and family. Some may lead you to think I’m a filthy scruff bag. I’m not encouraging anyone reading this to adopt habits that sound revolting. But these things work for us.
First we started using Eco balls more than seven years ago.
Three spheres of joy that can be added to the washing machine instead of detergent either all together or separately.
Time saving no 1
Without detergent a significant reduction in rinsing is achieved so pretty much all our washing is done on a half load cycle. Thus reduces tune waiting for the washing to finish and water. (We’ve bought exactly five small bottles if detergent in around seven years for the occasional wash if something that needs it. )
I appreciate that people like the smell if detergent. But it’s not real. That fresh lavender is manufactured it’s not from a field. Our clothes smell of nothing. They are just clean.
I also know that the advertising industry has spent thirty years telling us that the new improved extra strong seriously scary formula us essential to get our filthy dirty horrid clothes acceptably clean. However my clothes are really not that dirty. For some people that’s the bit which will be frightening.
The people who make the detergent are the ones who tell us our clothes are dirty enough to need it. I prefer to decide for myself.
Time saver no 2
No tumble dryer. Now that signs illogical but we hang our washing up to dry. We have a rotary dryer on our balcony, complete with rain cover.
I can here you shouting that that won’t save time. However I disagree.
By shaking the washing and hanging it up I t reduces the creases from a dryer.
Time saver no 3
We don’t do any ironing.
Maybe one shirt a year. Now it’s controversial but this policy is probably a ten year success. We fold the washing carefully and smooth it a bit but no ironing.
Time saver no 4
We don’t have any white clothes.
They usually show dirt, get dirty, need more detergent, need longer wash cycles, need hotter wash cycles, cry out to be ironed.
We don’t bother with all that extra time, effort, expense.
I had the odd white thing.
I dyed it.
In my washing machine.
(It didn’t affect any of my other clothes in later washes.)
No Thai wedding outfits.
Tine saver no 5
I don’t wash stuff that’s not dirty. It may have been worn. A few times. But it doesn’t necessarily need washing. And as part if this we wear stuff more than once.
People might notice I wore the sane thing twice? I don’t wear them on consecutive days or same locations.
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...