Written by Bethany Kogut
One thing that you can’t live without doing is your laundry, but sadly it is not the most sustainable action. On average, an older washing machine, like those typically in on-campus residence halls, use 40-45 gallons of water per load. In order to do your part and run a sustainable load of laundry, it is important to make sure you don’t run a load until it is completely full. I know I am not very committed to the rules of colors and temperatures, and I’ve only dyed one white tank top pink. It may be beneficial to mix together some colors to fill up a complete load, with caution of course! One other way to make your laundry more sustainable is to make your own reusable dryer ball to keep your dryer, clothes, and planet away from toxic chemicals used as a softener. This can be as simple as using a skein of wool yarn and an old pair of pantyhose.
1. Start your first wool dryer ball by wrapping the yarn around a couple of fingers 10 times.
2. Remove the yarn from your fingers and wrap about 10 times around the middle.
3. Continue wrapping around the ball from every angle. Make your way around the ball, wrapping 5-10 times before moving to a new angle. (There’s no exact science to this. Just keep trying to form a round ball.) Wrap the yarn tightly and hang onto your ball so it doesn’t pop out of your hands.
4. When your ball is a little bigger than a tennis ball, cut the yarn and pull the end through the ball with a crochet hook.
5. Repeat Steps 1-4 to make a second wool dryer ball with the remainder of your yarn.
6. Place your wool balls in your pantyhose, knotting the pantyhose between the balls.
7. Run your wool dryer balls through your washer and dryer with separate loads of laundry until they “felt” and become solid balls. (Mine “felt” in 3-4 loads.)
8. Remove balls from pantyhose and use in the dryer in place of dryer sheets.
*Makes two dryer balls*