1.07.2009

laundry fix. and giveaway!

there's always lots of laundry around here. and since line drying seems to be a no-go until spring, i've been looking for ways to save energy while using the dryer. i tried throwing a beach towel in with the clothes (which seemed the easiest fix), but i didn't find it to be all that helpful. jeremy even thought it might be making things worse, since our dryer is usually jam-packed with clothes (we're still on mandatory water restrictions due to drought conditions, so i try to only wash very full loads). he thought that there wasn't enough airflow with the addition of the towel, and he was probably right. at any rate, some loads were taking nearly 2 hours to dry. not energy efficient at all!

i've read about using dryer balls--they apparently not only help cut down on static and work as a softener, but also help speed up drying time by promoting airflow between fabrics. they can be bought in stores, though of course handmade is always better, and come in different materials, including plastic (yuck). from all my research, though, wool dryer balls are best. and by far the most eco-friendly.

i found a wonderful do-it-yourself tutorial here and made a set of my own in no time flat. i tried them out for the first time a couple of days ago, and was thrilled when the dryer shut off in just under 60 minutes--half the time that it had typically been running. i look forward to using them with the cloth diapers next to see if there's improvement there as well. this lovely set, handmade by your loyal blogger, is up for my january giveaway! to enter, leave your name and email address in the comment section, along with a quick statement on something "green" you've done recently. hopefully your comments will inspire me, along with other readers!

i'll be using a random number generator to decide the winner on wednesday morning (the 14th). good luck to all who enter!

26 comments:

valerie2350 said...

Very cool idea! I've been the tote bag queen lately :)

Meghan said...

i love your blog! i have been using vinegar for cleaning recently to cut down on chemicals in our home.

Urban Cowgirl said...

Awesome! I've switched us out of paper napkins and to cloth for meals we eat at home. I still have to sell my husband on cloth napkins for our packed lunches.

meghanchrobak@yahoo.com

carogonza said...

I have started using a coofee mug at work and foregoing the paper cups.

MrsEAM said...

Another great entry! I recently had a laundry mishap and some of my husband's white undershirts now have pink stains on them. Instead of throwing away, I cut them up and they are my new kitchen rags. When I would normally grab a paper towel, now I can grab the rags!

I have a bunch of white bar towels for the kitchen as well, but sometimes they are just too big!

Shauna said...

Whoo hoo, I've been looking at these on Etsy.

I just ordered Chico bags for me and my mom!

angeline petalfoot said...

melissa
mel.didier@gmail.com

we've been using a 50:50 baking soda to borax mixture in our dishwasher. so cheap and so green! dishes look great!

Karis said...

Oh gosh, we've been really trying hard to be greener! Recent changes (within the past few months):
Cloth napkins
Vinegar as fabric softener and cleanser
I always refuse bags at cash registers - if I forget my bags, I carry my purchases!

Karis
karis1027@yahoo.com

nick_price said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nick_price said...

I went to the craft store with my sister to help her pick out yarn for her new dryer balls....

I'm back to eating much less meat, the holidays and my trip up north were really tough for that.

Also jamie has finished your christmas present so expect a handmade treat sometime soon.

jollymae said...

we finally we able to afford enough cloth diapers to do them full-time :) with 2 kids!

mollyjunge@yahoo.com

Becky said...

I love your blog! Being a bit more "crunchy" is my New Year's Resolution, so I started recycling (yeah...I know I am way behind on the eco-friendliness), using cloth napkins, and reusable bags. I already use cloth diapers on my adorable son, so at least I was ahead in that dept.

beckyhanes@gmail.com

Hippy Habibi said...

I'd like to give these to my mom. She is still using dryer sheets...eek! Our latest "green" adventure is using one car instead of two. (One of our vehicles was totaled in a hit-and-run a couple weeks ago, and we aren't planning to replace it any time soon...or at all, if I have my way!) Thanks for your fantastic blog!

Heather Robison said...

Hey you!
These would be a great replacement for my current dryer balls (yah, the plastic blue ones) or you could send me the directions and I will take a stab at them myself.
A few of my green ambitions I will mention are recycling 1/2 of our laundry water to water plants; using my somewhat new herb & lettuce garden for lunch & dinners; I have always recycled (thank you for my free 2nd blue bin City of San Diego)and my most recent green ambition is abolishing the use of Ziploc bags. I am using the containers (I know still plastic but very reusable and lunch tote friendly)
XOXO
-H

cpullum said...

Count me in! I am going green but no watering this winter! Also using more recycable bags!
carla
cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

DieselMonkey said...

I enjoy reading your blog. WOol dryer balls intimidate me. i've got the (gasp) plastic ones right now.

i am trying to increase my "eco-ness". i now have cloth napkins, non-chemical cleaners, and non plastic toys for my son. i also started using public transportation (at the expense of my beauty sleep).

email in profile

Jenna said...

I love your blog!! I recently joined and organic farm share.

Jenna

jennao52@hotmail.com

AnnaBanana said...

Very neat, that would be a big help in our house too! I've been reading Hot, Flat and Crowded recently. Also, I"ve started making cloth wipes so we can replace our disposable ones.

Jodie said...

I have been wanting to try these.
We have made lots of changes since our daughter was born: CD, cloth napkins, reusable bags, making own dishwasher detergent, line drying, etc...

jodietamm@gmail.com

Kelly Marie said...

I've never heard of drier balls. we have 5 adults in our house hold so there is always a lot of laundry going!

I've finally gone back to cloth diapering 100% and using wool pants on the kiddo at night instead of overnight diapers. I also made my own wrapping for holiday presents out of muslin!

Kelly Marie said...

Ooops forgot my email kellymorum@gmail.com

miamihoney said...

Great tip and I love your blog- I have a new son and we are cloth diapering. I am addicted to CD's already.

miamihoney said...

oh, my email address is miamihoney@gmail.com

micaela6955 said...

I have started composting yard waste and garbage scraps this past year. It isn't easy to do in the winter time, so have slacked off a bit-but the leaves and other stuff are just waiting till spring in garbage bags... (all that winter wetness and moisture works pretty good for breaking them down)

micaela6955 at msn dot com

Anonymous said...

I hope these little buggers work wonders. I just had an exorbitant electricity bill from turning our heater on this past month. Soooo.... I haven't been using the dryer if I can all help it. AND I just tried the Maggiespureland soap nuts (a 100% biodegradable laundry detergent option). that's me... Miss try-to-be-green Rain's Mamma!
:)

Justk said...

I'm an avid knitter so I will certainly throw in a couple of balls of wool to see if that makes a difference. I just wanted to mention, we have a folding drying rack (indoor) that we just keep next to the radiator all winter. We keep a rotation of diapers and whatever else (toddler clothing) doesn't come out of the dryer completely dry.