Over the last month I have been pondering many environmental topics, and I’ve got a whole list of Green Quick Fixes℠ sitting next to me. Fodder for months.
But instead all I really want to think about is, how can we as a community make sizable dents in the pile of our green goals?
Tomorrow I’ll be showing students at the Endicott College Earth Day Fair how to make their own inexpensive, eco-friendly cleaning products because I think this will be helpful to them and make an impact fairly quickly.
But it’s really a lesson for everyone. Such Green Quick Fixes for cleaning and laundry could really boost the water quality and reduce the energy consumption and waste of whole communities if every household participated!
Community-Sized Dents Start at Home
I’ve been making most of my own cleaners in reusable bottles for more than two years using the recipes and techniques in Jill Potvin Schoff’s Green Up Your Cleanup. It’s easy to do, when released the products don’t burn my nose and eyes, they’re non-toxic, and they are extremely effective cleaners.
I have not only eliminated toxic chemicals in modern cleaners from leaving my household drains and entering the environment, but also the amount of plastic that I would need to recycle–by 50% or more! The source ingredients last longer than individual cleaners, and many are packaged in recyclable cardboard.
Also, by taking some time to set up an effective indoor clothes drying system, I’ve reduced my household dryer needs by 70%.
Dryers alone consume 10% of a household’s energy needs on average, according to The Laundry Project. While I generally defend the luxury of a clothes dryer above other human energy consumptive choices like central air conditioning and gaming systems, reducing reliance on it has been key in making my life significantly greener.
Pictured–top right–is the AirDry System.
Though it took extra hands and the extreme patience of a significant other–along with some thick skin on my behalf (“What’s this, the Ms. Green Quick Fixes Puppet Show?” jibed my Sig)–once installed, the ceiling-mounted AirDry pully system is the foundation of a powerful indoor, air-powered clothes dryer.
Placed with old wooden clothes dryers, I can dry two to three loads of wet laundry at once in an 8 x 8 x 2 foot L-shaped space. I wish I had another to complete a square!
A friend of mine, who is not so green but air dries a substantial amount of exercise clothes as their tags direct, first thought the ceiling-mounted installation effort bizarre. (She laughed at all the Sig’s string and puppet jokes.)
But once she saw AirDry in action, I then heard “This would be great for me!”
And “it’s also great for lowering the gas bill,” I added, appropriately appealing to this particular audience.