Spring cleaning is here! Let’s explore the ways you can cut down on your energy consumption and find green cleaning products.
1. Use a “Safer Choice” Product
The Environmental Protection Association (EPA) started the Safer Choice program to partner with companies who support energy efficiency and sustainability. These products carry the Safer Choice label because they meet the EPA’s standards for environmental and human health safety—while still providing the superior performance that will make your home sparkle and shine. There are currently 2,000 products, including laundry products, cleaners, and dish soaps. You can search for Safer Choice products here.
2. Make the Products You Already Own as Green as Possible
Large appliances like dishwashers are very energy intensive. But believe it or not, they use less water and energy than hand-washing all your dishes. To save resources, use a dishwasher if you have one and only run it when it’s full. (Here’s a good cheat sheet on how to load your dishwasher in the most energy-efficient way). Set the dishwasher to air dry so the appliance won’t spend energy using heat to dry your dishes. And finally, remember that washing dishes before you put them in the dishwasher wastes water.
Laundry machines are also big energy guzzlers, but you can mitigate their energy-intensive ways if you use them efficiently. Choose the correct load size when doing laundry. Run some cycles using cold water instead of hot. Only use the amount of detergent indicated on your laundry detergent’s packaging; more detergent won’t necessarily get your clothes cleaner, and concentrated detergents can go a long way. Once your clothes are clean, save even more energy by hang-drying them if possible. If you have to use a dryer, don’t leave clothes in them after they’re dry—that can cause wrinkling, which may necessitate ironing, and even more energy usage.
Knowing your sources and using products efficiently will make you an energy-smart spring cleaner. For more tips on how to improve your energy efficiency this spring, check out this great primer. You have a great deal of power this spring. Don’t waste it!