The dryer is an item that uses a sizable amount of energy to, well, dry your clothes. Anything that uses electricity results in carbon emissions and contributes to global warming. To reduce the unwanted effect caused by this simple household chore, and to reduce the utility bill, dry your clothes outdoors. This works for as long as the weather permits; however, some neighborhood associations frown on laundry drying in the open, so an air-well or indoor drying area is the next best option.
Another way to reduce the impact laundry has on the environment is simply to do less of it. This means wearing items of clothing more than once. With the exception of your delicates and exercise clothes, most items of clothing can be worn up to three times before needing to be washed. Of course, this depends on the local weather and your level of exertion.
A large number of green living ideas are related to using less energy (water, electricity) around the home. This is no different for laundry. Many, if not all washing instructions, state that the item of clothing should be washed in warm water, but have you ever wondered why?
Heat is used to ensure dirt is softened and easy to remove from dirty clothing, but barring school athletes, few of us actually come home with muddy clothes. Thus, it makes no difference to the item of clothing if you were to wash it in cold water, but it would reduce the amount of energy used to heat water in the home.
Similarly, iron only the clothes that need it, and not everything in the laundry hamper. You wouldn’t be able to tell if a wash-and-wear t-shirt had been ironed or not, so extend the lifespan of your clothes and save yourself the time, energy, and monetary and environmental cost by doing only what is necessary. If anything, your back will thank you for it.