Laundry, the bane of our existence
Not sure about you, but I spend a significant amount of hours doing laundry every week. Good news is, this is an easy way we can make a big impact on reducing our Eco-footprint.
Preventing an appliance from finding its way into the landfill is the best thing to do.
When you purchase a new washer and/or dryer, pay the fee for haul away. These appliances should be getting reconditioned and resold or broken down for parts and recycled. You can look into what kind of recycling program your city/county offer. You could also try to sell or give away the appliance to someone who would be willing to get the machine repaired.
When looking for a new machines try to find out which models would be the best with water and power efficiency. Most machines will weigh the clothes before determining how much water will be used. This is the most efficient way to ensure the least amount of water is being used. Most dryers are comparable, look for the ones with the settings you need but also keep in mind how much power the machine is using.
There are three detergents I think are a dead tie for the best brand. Seventh Generation, Everspring are great for free and clear of perfumes and dyes. I also like Love Home and Planet if you can't give up the smell good stuff. When looking for a bleach alternative either go with a chlorine-free bleach, Seventh Generation has one. Or you can make your own by mixing hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar, citric acid, and lemon essential oils if you are into that sort of thing.
If at all possible, hang dry as much as you can. In our home, we only use the dryer for undergarments and linens. Everything else gets hung to dry and then if needed put on an air fluff cycle to get wrinkles out and provide a little softness. Wool dryer balls are the best thing to use. Dryer sheets are not only manufactured, packaged and produce waste, but they are also filled with harsh chemicals that you do not want to be released into the world through your vents. The most accessible dryer balls are from Everspring which is Target's new brand of Eco-friendly items. They run about $10. You can always add some drops of essential oils to them if you are missing the smell good out of the dryer feels. Do not forget to compost all dryer lint.