Do Your Laundry Greener…

And Not Sacrifice Quality!

I see so many people today realizing the benefits of being green going far beyond themselves but to their entire interaction with their surrounding environment…eventually it’s this collective thinking that may just help save our little Blue-Ball in the Universe. Ironically, it can start with your dirty clothes.

No, that doesn’t mean you can save the world by skipping a bath or not doing the laundry, there are better ways to save the environment (and less smelly ways too).

Normally in the past one of the biggest green offenders was the washing machine, something that would do double damage as it guzzled gallons of water, and sapped lots of electricity. With Energy Star appliances more common we’re not as guilty as we once were using the big appliances to aid our daily lives. This only leaves the issue of water waste, especially from major offenders like washing machines (which can use 25 or more gallons/load). The Energy Star ones use less gallons of water per load, but still use an average of about 14 gallons per load. What’s a budding environmentally conscious consumer to do?

Washing Machine

We could see a revolutionary solution that’s better than the current water/energy efficient models, as The Xeros is hoping to hit the market by 2009 (sadly it’ll be the U.K. market first with no U.S. timetable set yet). What’s so revolutionary about this washing machine you ask? Well, it uses plastics to do most of cleaning, thus dramatically reducing water consumption.

The way it works:

The Xeros uses less than 2% of the water and energy of a conventional washing machine, using just one cup of water, a little detergent, and thousands of reusable plastic chips (as the “solid solvent”) to beat the clothes clean and absorb stains.

Basically, a person throws clothes in and starts the load, then a cartridge in the back of the machine drops in the plastic chips, and a cup of water including detergent is added. The water dissolves the stains and dirt, which is then absorbed by the chips. At the end of the cycle, a grill at the bottom of the machine opens to collect the chips. The process leaves clothes nearly dry, so using a dryer is not necessary.

Tests from the University of Leeds show that the machine can get rid of all kinds of everyday stains, making the process as clean as a standard washing machine, and the chips can be used up to 100 times, which adds up to about six month’s worth of washing. (From Yahoo’s EcoGeek Article on July 7th, 2008 by Jaymi Heimbuch)

While it’s still evolving, and they’re many questions still present about any new technology like this, it’s definitely a great start to people looking to make a difference and reduce their Carbon-Footprint. In the near future, we don’t have to do one or two major steps that dramatically alter our lifestyle and way of doing things (though if you do, that’s perfectly okay) but rather, it’s the little steps when combined that offer the greatest impact in helping the environment.

An example of this would be the homeowner who decided to use LEDs, waterless heater, and/or an appliance like this one, that when combined would not only be environmentally good but also good for your wallet. I bet that’s a selling point every consumer would love.

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~ by drcorner on July 11, 2008.

3 Responses to “Do Your Laundry Greener…”

  1. Yes. I am happy that I just bought a new washer and dryer that are both very efficient. Plus we use the cold setting which is the single biggest cost of washing laundry and we also hang stuff out on the line when we can to save on using the dryer. We also use CFL bulbs as well as many other things to save energy. AND, I used a program so that now any electricity we use comes from renewable resources. We’ve dropped our carbon footprint from 27,000 pounds of carbon per year to 12,000. By the way, the U.S. average is 52,000. And thanks for commenting over on my blog too. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks for the comments. That’s great that you’ve managed to drastically reduce your environmental impact so fast in such a short time-frame. The beauty about this appliance is that we as the consumer would have to sacrifice less, while still being (if not even more) green. From what they say this washing machine would trump any current energy-efficient product. I really hope it hits the US stores, it would be such a huge hit with the right advertising and selling points. I’ve added your Blog to my blogroll as well.

  3. That is truly spectacular! I hope they work well and become available on this side of the pond.

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