Sunday, December 21, 2008

Veganize and Green Your Laundry Routine

Living a vegan life extends way beyond the plate. Animal by-products are hidden everywhere. Scarier yet, animal testing is still a routine practice. Did you know that Procter & Gamble, maker of the popular Tide brand, still tests on animals?

Luckily, there are more cruelty-free, affordable options than ever before. Trader Joe's Liquid Laundry Detergent is my pick. Biodegradable, non-animal tested and containing no animal ingredients, it has a pleasant, but not over-powering, lavender scent, and is reasonably priced at $8.99 for a one gallon container. It also has a built-in fabric softener. Not lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's nearby? Check out Method and Seventh Generation brands at Whole Foods Market and increasingly available in mainstream supermarkets.

Did you know that most fabric softener sheets contain animal fats? Fortunately, our friends at Method offer a vegan alternative with their squeaky green dryer cloths. Personally, I hang-dry most of my clothes, so I only need these for my towels and sheets. Hang drying is kinder on the environment than being dependent on the dryer, and of course saves money, always a plus.

Don't forget to wash in the cold cycle. A startling 90 percent of the energy used by a washing machine goes to just heating the water, according to Carbon Conscious Consumer. They calculate that if you wash four out of every five loads in cold water, you could reduce your CO2 emissions by 72 pounds in just one month, and save $60 or more on your annual energy spending.

Learn more eco-friendly tips from Carbon Conscious Consumer, including how to reduce your junk mail and breaking the bottled water habit.
Want to know if the products you're buying are tested on animals? Check out PETA's Caring Consumer search engine.

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