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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Buy eco-friendly laundry products, conserve energy and be good to your clothes. You will keep yourDuckie Robe  family healthy and looking great, save money and help the environment.

One of the main problems with laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and stain removers is that they contain petroleum, phosphates and synthetic chemicals that leave residue on the clothes. These ingredients cause allergies, irritate the skin and eyes and carry other severe health risks.

They also get washed down our drains and into our waterways which pollutes our rivers, lakes and coastal areas and are toxic to fish and wildlife.

Look for Eco-Friendly Laundry Products

Consider using eco-friendly laundry products. Always read labels and pay attention to what you’re buying, just because a product claims to be “natural” doesn’t mean it’s non-toxic.

Look for labels that indicate that the product is readily biodegradable, made with plant- and vegetable-based ingredients (instead of petroleum-based), contain no phosphates, and no allergy-inducing scents.

Ingredients you should avoid are butyl cellosolve (dangerous toxic chemical), petroleum, triclosan and phosphates. Also try to avoid chemicals known as phthalates that are used in detergents with fragrances, they have been linked to cancer.

If you must use bleach, try a non-chlorine product, use an oxygen-based cleaner instead, it is better for the environment and for your health.

Better brands to look for:

  • Seventh Generation – Seventh Generation tries to make their product as non-toxic as possible while still providing the results we are looking for in a cleaning product. They are also very transparent about the ingredients they put into their products. You can find them in the aisles almost anywhere you purchase your cleaning products.
  • Earth Friendly Products – Earth Friendly Products was founded in 1967 by a chemist dedicated to providing superiorEcos laundry detergent  cleaning results using only natural, non-toxic ingredients. For more information about Earth Friendly Products, you can read my review at http://mygreenside.org/?p=5841.
  • Shaklee – Locally you can find Shaklee products (or have them ordered for you) at Eco Chic Boutique in Fargo.

Conserve Energy

About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes—use less water and use cooler water.

Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.

More tips on how to conserve energy:

  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
  • Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  • Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
  • Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
  • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
  • Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. Air-drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for some fabrics

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Be Good to Your Clothes

Tips for extending the life of your clothes:

  • Limit dryer use to save energy, money, and threads. Your dryer can wreak havoc on clothes by fading the colors and affecting the quality of the fabric.
  • Add a couple of teaspoons of table salt in with your detergent to make your clothes brighter and prevent colors from running.

For more tips about using salt in the wash, check out HowStuffWorks: Uses for Salt: Doing the Laundry at http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/uses-for-salt-doing-the-laundry-ga.htm.

Tips for Fresher Laundry:

  • Add baking soda or distilled white vinegar to detergent to clean, deodorize, and brighten clothes.
  • Turn your clothing inside out in the washer and dryer. This prevents the outside from getting worn out.
  • Switch to cold water wash—doing so not only saves energy but also prevents colors from bleeding or fading, which tends to happen with hot or warm water.
  • Make sure to button and zipper up your clothes. This prevents snags that could ruin your clothes after several washes.
  • Keep lights, darks, and delicate clothing separate to keep colors bright and clothing in good shape.

Source: Green Living Ideas

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Real Simple

We’ve all seen their magazine but have you visited RealSimple.com? It’s an awesome site full of great tips on things like New Uses for Old Things. Learn how to repurpose hundreds of everyday items—from accordion files to zippered plastic bags—in surprising ways that can save you time, money and help the environment.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Buy eco-friendly laundry products, conserve energy and be good to your clothes. You will keep yourDuckie Robe family healthy and looking great, save money and help the environment.

One of the main problems with laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and stain removers is that they contain petroleum, phosphates and synthetic chemicals that leave residue on the clothes. These ingredients cause allergies, irritate the skin and eyes and carry other severe health risks.

They also get washed down our drains and into our waterways which pollutes our rivers, lakes and coastal areas and are toxic to fish and wildlife.

Look for Eco-Friendly Laundry Products

Consider using eco-friendly laundry products. Always read labels and pay attention to what you’re buying, just because a product claims to be “natural” doesn’t mean it’s non-toxic.

Look for labels that indicate that the product is readily biodegradable, made with plant- and vegetable-based ingredients (instead of petroleum-based), contain no phosphates, and no allergy-inducing scents.

Ingredients you should avoid are butyl cellosolve (dangerous toxic chemical), petroleum, triclosan and phosphates. Also try to avoid chemicals known as phthalates that are used in detergents with fragrances, they have been linked to cancer.

If you must use bleach, try a non-chlorine product, use an oxygen-based cleaner instead, it is better for the environment and for your health.

Better brands to look for:

  • Seventh Generation – Seventh Generation tries to make their product as non-toxic as possible while still providing the results we are looking for in a cleaning product. They are also very transparent about the ingredients they put into their products. You can find them in the aisles almost anywhere you purchase your cleaning products.
  • Earth Friendly Products – Earth Friendly Products was founded in 1967 by a chemist dedicated to providing superiorEcos laundry detergent cleaning results using only natural, non-toxic ingredients. For more information about Earth Friendly Products, you can read my review at http://mygreenside.org/?p=5841.
  • Shaklee – Locally you can find Shaklee products (or have them ordered for you) at Eco Chic Boutique in Fargo.

Conserve Energy

About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes—use less water and use cooler water.

Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.

More tips on how to conserve energy:

  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
  • Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  • Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
  • Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
  • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
  • Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. Air-drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for some fabrics

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Be Good to Your Clothes

Tips for extending the life of your clothes:

  • Limit dryer use to save energy, money, and threads. Your dryer can wreak havoc on clothes by fading the colors and affecting the quality of the fabric.
  • Add a couple of teaspoons of table salt in with your detergent to make your clothes brighter and prevent colors from running.

For more tips about using salt in the wash, check out HowStuffWorks: Uses for Salt: Doing the Laundry at http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/uses-for-salt-doing-the-laundry-ga.htm.

Tips for Fresher Laundry:

  • Add baking soda or distilled white vinegar to detergent to clean, deodorize, and brighten clothes.
  • Turn your clothing inside out in the washer and dryer. This prevents the outside from getting worn out.
  • Switch to cold water wash—doing so not only saves energy but also prevents colors from bleeding or fading, which tends to happen with hot or warm water.
  • Make sure to button and zipper up your clothes. This prevents snags that could ruin your clothes after several washes.
  • Keep lights, darks, and delicate clothing separate to keep colors bright and clothing in good shape.

Source: Green Living Ideas

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Green Living Ideas

Green Living Ideas is a site dedicated to bringing you the best green living tips and news. They provide ideas, tips, and information to help you ‘green’ every aspect of your life: home energy, green building and remodeling, cars, food, waste recycling—and everything in between.

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GREEN TIP: Sustainable laundry practices will keep your family healthy and looking great while saving money and the environment. Look for eco-friendly laundry products, conserve energy and be good to your clothes.    

Our Six-Year OldThe main problem with laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and stain removers is that they contain petroleum, phosphates and synthetic chemicals that leave residue on the clothes. These ingredients cause allergies, irritate the skin and eyes and carry other severe health risks.

Then they get washed down our drains and into our waterways polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas and are toxic to fish and wildlife.

Look for Eco-Friendly Laundry Products

Consider using eco-friendly laundry products. Always read labels and pay attention to what you’re buying, just because a product claims to be “natural” doesn’t mean it’s non-toxic.

Look for labels that indicate that the product is readily biodegradable, made with plant- and vegetable-based ingredients (instead of petroleum-based), contain no phosphates, and no allergy-inducing scents.

Ingredients you should avoid are butyl cellosolve (dangerous toxic chemical), petroleum, triclosan and phosphates. Also try to avoid chemicals known as phthalates that are used in detergents with fragrances, they have been linked to cancer.

If you must use bleach, try a non-chlorine product, use an oxygen-based cleaner instead, it is better for the environment and for your health. Or, I found a recipe for a safer bleach alternative at Grit.com.

Here’s the recipe:

12 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup hydrogen peroxide

Mix. Add 2 cups per wash load or put in spray bottle and use as a household cleaner. For all the details, visit http://www.grit.com/blogs/Safer-Bleach-Alternative.aspx.

Conserve Energy

About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes—use less water and use cooler water.

Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.

o  Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
o  Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
o  Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
o  Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
o  Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
o  Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
o  Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
o  Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. Air-drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for some fabrics

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Be Good to Your Clothes

The folks at Green Living Ideas have some great tips for extending the life of your clothes:

o  Limit dryer use to save energy, money, and threads. Your dryer can wreak havoc on clothes by fading the colors and affecting the quality of the fabric.
o  Add a couple of teaspoons of table salt in with your detergent to make your clothes brighter and prevent colors from running.

For more tips about using salt in the wash, check out HowStuffWorks: Uses for Salt: Doing the Laundry.

Also visit 5 Tips for Fresher Laundry.

o  Add baking soda or distilled white vinegar to detergent to clean, deodorize, and brighten clothes.
o  Turn your clothing inside out in the washer and dryer. This prevents the outside from getting worn out.
o  Switch to cold water wash—doing so not only saves energy but also prevents colors from bleeding or fading, which tends to happen with hot or warm water.
o  Make sure to button and zipper up your clothes. This prevents snags that could ruin your clothes after several washes.
o  Keep lights, darks, and delicate clothing separate to keep colors bright and clothing in good shape.

Source: Green Living Ideas

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by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: If you haven’t already, make the switch to greener laundry products. Conventional laundry products are harmful to the planet and your family.

Made from synthetic petrochemicals, most conventional laundry detergents don’t readily biodegrade and they threaten wildlife after they go down the drain. Many also contain chemical fragrances and phosphates (which build up in streams and lakes, upset the natural balance, and starve fish of the oxygen they need to survive). They also contain chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive problems. Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

Look for products with the Green Seal. Green Seal, Inc. is the only organization that comprehensively evaluates non-toxic products.

Here are some great non-toxic alternatives for your laundry:

Laundry brightener: Add 1/2 cup of strained lemon juice to the rinse cycle.

Fabric rinse: Add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the washing machine’s rinse cycle to remove detergent completely from clothes, eliminating that scratchy feel. This will not leave your clothes smelling like vinegar!

Detergent booster: To reduce the amount of laundry detergent you need to use, add baking soda or washing soda. These minerals soften the water, which increases the detergent’s power. For liquid detergent, add 1/2 cup of soda at the beginning of the wash. For powdered detergent, add 1/2 cup of soda during the rinse cycle.

Bleach: Use hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine bleach. Soak clothes overnight in a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide to eight parts cold water. Wash as normal.

Dry cleaning: Many delicate “dry clean only” items can be washed at home by hand. In general, it’s best to use cool water and a mild liquid soap. Squeeze or wring gently and lay flat to dry.

Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

More laundry tips:

  • When you have several loads to wash, do them back-to-back so you can use the residual heat in the dryer. (this tips is from my friend Lyz)
  • Run the washing machine only when you have a full load.
  • Wash with cold water to save 80 to 90 percent of the energy costs of washing.
  • To prevent static cling, add one cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle, using your washing machine’s dispenser. Static cling is caused by using synthetic fabrics, so you could also switch to cotton. The vinegar also kills bacteria and prevents the buildup of detergent residue.
  • Clean out the dryer’s lint trap after every load to improve circulation and reduce energy use.
  • Air dry whenever possible using indoor racks or an outdoor line. This conserves energy—and your clothes. They will not wear out or fade as quickly.

For more laundry tips: Green Tip – Eco Your Laundry

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Project Laundry List
Project Laundry List leads the air-drying and cold-water washing revolution. They provide information about these and other simple, effective ways to save energy and money.

Some Quick Facts from Project Laundry List:

  • Less than 4% of Italian households own a dryer.
  • Approximately one quarter of Americans use an ENERGY STAR washer. There are no ENERGY STAR dryers on the market.
  • You don’t even need soap to wash most loads. The agitation of washing machines often does the job on its own.
  • Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.
  • Approximately 23.8 billion pounds of clothing and textiles end up in U.S. landfills each year.
  • Cotton production accounts for 2.4% of total arable land yet accounts for 11% of global pesticide use and 25% of global insecticide use.
  • You can reduce the full lifecycle climate change impact of your jeans by up to 50 percent by line drying and washing them in cold water.

LOCAL NOTES:

Eco Chic Boutique in Fargo is having a costume swap. Bring your child’s gently used costume to their shop between now and October 15, 2010 and you will receive a ticket for a “new” costume. You can pick up your “new” costume between 5pm and 7pm on Friday, October 15th or between 9am to 12pm on Saturday, October 16th. All remaining costumes will be sold for $5 with proceeds going to 4 Luv of Dog Rescue of Fargo.

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

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by Wendy Gabriel

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for GreenIdeal Bite Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a different favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

GREEN TIP: Buy eco-friendly laundry products, conserve energy and be good to your clothes. You will keep your family healthy and looking great, save money and the environment.

According to Rebecca at Kids-Going-Green.com, the main problem with laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and stain removers is that they contain petroleum, phosphates and synthetic chemicals that leave residue on the clothes. These ingredients cause allergies, irritate the skin and eyes and carry other severe health risks.

They get washed down our drains and into our waterways polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas and are toxic to fish and wildlife.

Look for Eco-Friendly Laundry Products

Consider using eco-friendly laundry products. Always read labels and pay attention to what you’re buying, just because a product claims to be “natural” doesn’t mean it’s non-toxic.

Look for labels that indicate that the product is readily biodegradable, made with plant- and vegetable-based ingredients (instead of petroleum-based), contain no phosphates, and no allergy-inducing scents.

Ingredients you should avoid are butyl cellosolve (dangerous toxic chemical), petroleum, triclosan and phosphates. Also try to avoid chemicals known as phthalates that are used in detergents with fragrances, they have been linked to cancer.

If you must use bleach, try a non-chlorine product, use an oxygen-based cleaner instead, it is better for the environment and for your health.

Source: Kids-Going-Green.com

Conserve Energy

About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes—use less water and use cooler water.

Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.

o  Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
o  Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
o  Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
o  Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
o  Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
o  Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
o  Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
o  Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. Air-drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for some fabrics

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Be Good to Your Clothes

The folks at Green Living Ideas have some great tips for extending the life of your clothes:

o  Limit dryer use to save energy, money, and threads. Your dryer can wreak havoc on clothes by fading the colors and affecting the quality of the fabric.
o  Add a couple of teaspoons of table salt in with your detergent to make your clothes brighter and prevent colors from running.

For more tips about using salt in the wash, check out HowStuffWorks: Uses for Salt: Doing the Laundry.

Also visit 5 Tips for Fresher Laundry.

o  Add baking soda or distilled white vinegar to detergent to clean, deodorize, and brighten clothes.
o  Turn your clothing inside out in the washer and dryer. This prevents the outside from getting worn out.
o  Switch to cold water wash—doing so not only saves energy but also prevents colors from bleeding or fading, which tends to happen with hot or warm water.
o  Make sure to button and zipper up your clothes. This prevents snags that could ruin your clothes after several washes.
o  Keep lights, darks, and delicate clothing separate to keep colors bright and clothing in good shape.

Source: Green Living Ideas

My Green Side’s weekly website pick:

Ideal Bite
Bite-size ideas for healthy, light green living.

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 By Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP:  Use 1/4 to 1 cup of white vinegar to soften your clothes instead of commercial fabric softener.

It is unbelievable the chemicals contained in the products we are supposed to know and trust.  The cuddly, fabric softeners and dryer sheets you use to make your family’s clothes smell nice and feel soft are full of chemicals that could make everyone in your home very sick. 

When I was pregnant with our first baby, I began to use a non-toxic, bio-degradable laundry detergent.  And when she was born, I never used dryer sheets on her clothes.  I thought I was being good to her skin and to the environment. 

But by using dryer sheets with all the other laundry, I might as well have made a blanket of them and wrapped her in it because they have a chemical that makes them spew their “fresh” scent over and over again! 

According to the Allergy and Environmental Health Association (AEHA), the “product is designed to impregnate fibres and slowly re-release for an extended period of time.  That re-releasing affects the health not only of users, but those around them.”  Wonderful.  And apparently the fabric softener/dryer sheet-makers took a page out of the cigarette makers’ playbook and made sure to add “neurostimulant/irritants and central nervous system toxins”; they are added to produce “an addictive-type response that may cause the user to experience a feeling of pleasure when the product is directly inhaled.” 

The nicotine of the laundry industry. 

This wouldn’t be so terrible if the potential health effects of the chemicals used to make these products weren’t unbelievably awful.  I will list just a few:  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Alzheimer’s, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Dementia, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis.  And, incredibly, there are even more. 

Health Recipes.com warns that “most of the dangerous chemicals in fabric softeners are most dangerous when inhaled.”  Does anyone test these products before they are beautifully packaged and mercilessly marketed?  I did find a test performed by Anderson JH Anderson Laboratories, Inc.  Their findings conclude that “the results provide a toxicological basis to explain some of the human complaints of adverse reactions to fabric softener emissions.”  Apparently not enough of a deterrent to the companies selling these delightful products!

Be good, beware and shop smart.

For additional safe alternatives to common household products, the AEHA’s website has a great list for you to check out.

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