Sustainable Home | laundry

A huge goal for myself and my family this year is to greatly decrease the amount of waste we create.  I have been making adjustments for the past few years but realized that I was in need of a sustainability tune-up and a refresher on ways that I delve deeper into this practice.  Additionally, I think that every time you start to be more environmentally conscious, you inevitably save money because you're conserving your resources and that leads to a cheaper lifestyle.  This is something that I am thinking about a lot right now as we just received a huge heating bill, the cost of living in higher in Pasadena and we have our taxes due soon.  So for us, now is the perfect time to start conserving in every way possible.  

Our Machines

The first way that we have been sustainable with how we are cleaning our clothes is we purchased a washer/dryer set second-hand.  When we were looking at buying new appliances but it felt like a racket.  The cost of the low-end washer/dryer set was 1K and as I started looking online, I saw so many machines in seemingly good shape that looked like they were in need of a home.  After a couple of weeks, Bryan and I found a set for $300, almost brand new.  This felt like a huge win for us.  Not only did we save money but we also picked up something that might have ended up taking up space in a landfill.  While I would have loved a band new machine with all of the bells and whistles, I also love feeling like we sort of adopted these old machines.  

Our Soap

The packaging for laundry soap is excessive and usually a single-use plastic and that is something we are trying to stop using entirely, so I decided to try soap nuts.  Soap nuts contain saponin, a natural detergent.  They work by absorbing water then releasing saponins, which circulate as a natural surfactant in the wash water, freeing dirt, grime, and oils from clothing.  I typically don't like the smell of detergents so this natural form of detergent is right up my ally.  Here are the soap nuts that I purchased.   They come with a bag and instructions so once you receive, you're all set to start washing.  Soap nuts are also very cost effective and a cheaper way to wash.  Also, they are completely compostable so we have traded out a large plastic container with something that we will add to our compost pile.  Sweet!  

Our Dryer 

After spending a month in the UK and realizing that most people don't own dryers because they use clotheslines, I realized how wasteful we are with our resources.  I love getting warm socks out of the dryer just as much as the next person but if people in the UK are drying their clothes outside with the notoriously bad UK weather, everyone in Los Angeles should have a clothing line outside.  Also, one of the easiest ways to save on a gas bill is to limit the amount of heating you use in your home and when applied to laundry, this means turn the water temperature down and use the dryer less.  We have had a ton of rain so drying outside isn't an option right now, but we have been using a drying rack inside.  While I know the clothes aren't as soft when they dry naturally, I am happy to trade out that luxury for a little conservation.  If we do decide to use the dryer because we are in a time-crunch, we now use these dryer balls instead of one-time use dryer sheets which saves money and space in the garbage.  

Our Clothes

One of the easiest and perhaps most obvious ways to conserve when doing laundry is to simply wash less.  In our house, we wear clothes until they smell.  Yes, occasionally I will leave the house without realizing my clothes are due for a wash but most of the time, this process works for us.  I try to wear my jeans until the dirt is visible and Bryan does the same.  This way, we do the laundry less and save more water and energy. 

Did I miss anything?  What are some ways your family conserves when doing their laundry?

 

 

Emoji Chewy Vitamins with Spirulina

Wallace is going through a bread and cheese phase and I am concerned that he isn't taking in enough green food.  I try to sneak spinach in his spaghetti and he meticulously picks it out.  I feel like I am trying to convince a puppy to take his medicine and every time, the puppy finds the pill.  After a few weeks of this, I knew I needed to get creative. 

I have wanted to make chewy vitamins for a month so I decided to give them a try and thought a sugary chewable candy-like gummy would be the perfect hiding place for Spirulina.  

Wally was pretty interested in the sour flavor and he happily took one down.  When I make these again, I'll try a different gelatin because I tasted a mild flavor with this one but overall, it was a success. 

Ingredients

Process

  1.  Add juice, gelatin and honey to a small pot and simmer until everything dissolves.  
  2. Take off of the stove and cool for a minute then add the spirulina. 
  3. Pour into molds and put in the freezer for ten minutes.
  4. Remove from the molds and store in an air-tight container.

Second-Hand Scores

I have been shopping second-hand since I was a teenager and I have always prided myself in my unique pieces that I have earned through patiently sifting through thrift stores.  In my closet I still have a few vintage pieces from High School that I will probably have for the rest of my life.  Today, I still manage to thrift regularly but my reason has shifted from subtle protest to the name brands that were posted so large on so many items of clothing to taking a strong stance for the planet.  Buying second hand is one of the easiest way to live sustainably and now that we have a new head of the EPA who will probably gut every regulation created, it's time to do everything we can for Mother Earth.  Since I am often asked where I get my clothes and the answer is usually eBay, I am starting a series where I will feature scores I find on eBay or Etsy so that hopefully you too can and jump onboard the second-hand train.

 

Here are some items I found this morning...

This Dress is sooooo Good!!!

Amazing Vintage Wrap Dress 

Vintage Stuart Weitzman Beige Fabric Chunky Heel Size 8.5

The Perfect Jeans - Vintage Levi's 501 Button Fly Denim Blue Jeans Boyfriend 28X32

The Cutest Stoneware Vase

A Perfect Dress for Summer

These Authentic Clogs

This Adorable Toddler Outfit 

Rad Broken-in Hat 

Also this hat that has dust from Rodeos! 

Mid Century Wall Art 

Vintage Duster

Awesome Wool Coat 

Pantsuit! 

More Clogs

All of these items are thrifted.  

All of these items are thrifted.