7.06.2008

Laundry day

I did some laundry today and ran into a couple things I wasn't sure what to do with. First, the dryer lint. Is it compostable? Most places say it is. If you use fabric softeners, you should try to use environmentally friendly ones so that you aren't contaminating your fabric with all sorts of chemicals. Of course this goes for your laundry detergent as well. That way your lint will be chemical-free and OK for the compost. If you'd rather get creative with it, start saving it up to be re-used in one of these ways:

1. Dryer Lint Clay
(adapted from
PlanetPals, where you can also get recipes for dryer lint papier mache and paper)
Ingredients:
2 cups firmly packed dryer lint
1/3 cup warm water
6 tablespoons white glue
1 tablespoon clear dishwashing liquid
food coloring


Directions:
Put lint into a mixing bowl
Add other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
When you can no longer mix, knead with hands until you get uniform texture.
Have fun!


2. Fire starter
Going camping this summer? Anticipating a long, cold winter? Lint is a great fire starter. Stuff it into empty toilet paper tubes and use them to get your next fire going strong. Or, even better, stuff an empty egg carton (the paper kind, not plastic ...) with lint and pour in candle wax. You can then break off sections as you need them. Sure beats hunting for enough kindling to get your fire roaring.

3. Support nest building
This tip, from the "official dryer lint page" is my favorite. They suggest hanging pieces of dryer lint in trees in the springtime for birds to use in building nests! I can only imagine my neighbors watching me climb a ladder to hang lint in a tree.

4. Donate your lint to The National Lint Project
And you'll get it returned to you sculpted into some sort of creature. Yeah ... you should just check it out for yourself.

The other thing I didn't know what to do with was my dryer sheets. The typical sheets are not compostable. They are actually filled with tons of toxic chemicals. Little did you know. Not good for you or for the environment. BUT there are some on the market that are. Look into Sun & Earth and Mrs. Meyer's.

If you want something really posh, check out The Laundress. At $16.00 for a box of 40, they must be pretty amazing.

Or you could just hang dry everything. For some of us, this isn't very feasible. I live with 2 other people and I'm guessing they wouldn't be thrilled to have me airing my laundry (dirty or not) all over the house.


In terms of laundry detergent, there are tons of environmentally-friendly options out there now. Walk into any generic grocery store and you should be able to find at least a few to choose from. But this is one cool idea I'm betting most people haven't heard of yet. It will be neat to see if the idea gets picked up anywhere around here. Does anyone have one in a store near them? Apparently there are a lot of places in Minnesota where you can find them. Anyway, what I'm blabbing about is this company ReStore that has designed a "Refill Station" for their products. Not only are their products environmentally-friendly, but you can bring the container back to the store and refill it at the station and receive a discount.

3 comments:

Amy Flanagan said...

I don't think you have to worry about lint. You didn't make it, your clothes just collected it, right? Maybe you can just rub it all back over your clothes.

:: A S K :: said...

Hahaha. You're sabotaging the challenge with your brilliant ideas.

Lisa Sharp said...

Wow that is really need. :)