Transform Your Space
It’s no secret: along with the kitchen and the bathroom, the laundry room is a leading cause of a household’s overconsumption of energy and water. Thankfully, there are a number of ways we can go green and reform our washing ways. But what about the laundry room itself? Often a subordinate space relegated to a dingy basement corner, or cramped closet, it may be green but far from gorgeous. The following eco-friendly tips will help transform your laundry room into a space that’s fresh and inviting.
High Efficiency Laundry
HE or High Efficiency is a term that describes the concentrated cleaning process and energy and water savings offered by today’s eco-friendly washers. Front load washers are commonly known to be HE, however, the latest innovation in laundry has also brought HE to top load laundry. HE top load washers have replaced the wash agitator with a wash plate to allow a low water wash and to save resources.
Out to Dry
We know that the dryer can eat up a lot of energy but an outdoor clothes line isn’t an attractive option. Look for features that can help reduce your dryer energy usage. The latest innovations in dryers are eco-friendly features like advanced sensors to prevent over-drying and wasting energy. HE washers with faster spin speeds also extract more water so the dryer doesn’t need to use as much energy. Some HE washers even let you avoid using a dryer with an energy-efficient fan that can dry small loads of lightweight fabrics, like sports wear.
Low V.O.C. Paint
Paint with low Volatile Organic Compounds emits fewer toxins into the air and they have virtually no odor. Generally, the more colour-tint you add to paint, the higher V.O.C. So it’s best to go with a white or pale colour low V.O.C. paint, and such light tones will make the room clean and bright.
Organic cotton and linen, recycled polyester, hemp and bamboo cloth — there are loads of different fabrics that are made from natural and sustainable resources. Fabrics in cheery colours and bold patterns are a great way to liven up a laundry room. Use fabric for curtains or blinds or install panels under the counter to hide the machines and plumbing.
Recycled ceramic tiles are an ideal way to go, but not so common on the market. Due to wood’s wearability, generally it’s not recommended to install wood flooring in a room where there is the possibility of flooding. However, there are some great engineered flooring products made from sustainable bamboo that are widely available. Bamboo is super strong, resilient to water damage and comes in different tones and finishes.
As we all know compact florescent blubs save energy but the greenish- blue light they emit leaves a lot to be desired. Defuse the gory glow with a pendant drum shade or Chinese lantern shade in cheery yellow, orange or pink.
Remember to Recycle and Reuse
If renovating other parts of the house, it is good practice not to throw away off-cuts or left-over materials — they can be recycled and used down the line. Recently I saw a laundry room where a counter was made from a slab of marble that was left over from a bathroom reno. It made the laundry room much more glamorous.
Store all your detergents, sprays, lint roller, cloths and other supplies on open shelving close to the washing machine, if possible. Pretty-up the shelf by transferring detergents and such into labeled glass canisters, bottles or jars. You can take your glass containers to stores where laundry soaps and liquids are sold in bulk, and have them refilled. This eliminates extra packaging.