Monthly Archives: February 2011

Washing & drying clothes

Here are some handy hints to help with your laundry:

Sort and Separate

Even though automatic washers and dryers have taken the work out of the task, you still need to sort your laundry before washing. You not only need to pay attention to the colors of the clothing, but also the fabric.

Sort By Color

  • Separate white articles from the laundry basket or hamper. This includes underwear, socks, towels, linens, all white or very light colored articles. Put them in a pile.
  • Separate lightly colored articles – put them in their own pile
  • Separate dark colored clothing or other articles – towels, jeans, socks, sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. Put them all in a pile.

Sort By Manufacturers Instructions

Ignoring the manufacturer’s recommendations for laundry care is not smart. Don’t learn the hard way by ruining that blouse you just bought for $65.00 and wore once.

  • Go through each pile separately. Look at each article and read the recommended washing instructions.
  • Some recommend hand washing in cold water only and laying flat to dry, or line dry.
  • Some tell you to wash with like items, hot temperature and dry in automatic drier at medium heat temperature.
  • Some say no chlorine bleach; some say tumble dry, with low or no heat.


Set the water temperature. use hot water for whites, warm water for all other loads. Cold water can be used with detergent specifically made for washing in cold water.

Check for stains and pretreat them before washing. Concentrated laundry detergent might also help to pretreat.

Set the washing cycle. Consider the clothing you are washing to set either normal, permanent press or a gentle cycle. Most clothes can use a normal cycle.

Add your laundry detergent. Check the instructions for the proper amount as some detergents are more concentrated than others.

Add the clothes. Do not overfill the machine. Overloading the washing machine will cause your clothes not to wash properly and will not rinse completely.

Add any additional liquids to the machine, such as bleach or fabric softener

Close the lid, and now the washing has begun!

Posted by Gary Nickless February 08, 2011 at 10:44 PM under Home Living Tips
Climate change and Brazil

This is an interesting article:

At a time when economic growth remains elusive for the United States and many other major world economies, Brazil is attracting attention from the global business community because of its strong growth prospects. The Brazilian economy, the largest in Latin America, is expected to grow by 5% in 2010, according to the country’s central bank. That is almost twice the rate expected in the United States — estimated at 2.6% for 2010 and 2011 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). One of the issues companies will need to consider before making any major investments in Brazil, however, is the impact of climate change on future operations.

For full article, visit:

Posted by Gary H February 07, 2011 at 10:31 PM under Environment
3 Steps to a Greener Kitchen

Restaurants around the country are greening themselves in hopes of attracting clients, saving money, and at the very least, staying afloat. While commercial kitchens use vast amounts of energy to regulate temperatures, power appliances, and light surfaces, residential kitchens can take advantage of some of the same techniques and a few others, allowing homeowners to protect the environment and save money through new design features and conscientious choices.

Every day new appliances that use less energy and water are hitting the market. Investing in some of this equipment can save money, but it’s important not to get lost in the hype. Make sure to research the models and find the ones that will provide energy savings without sacrificing features you want. Remember, bigger isn’t always better. Upgrading to an energy efficient model that is larger than what you need may not provide a great deal of savings. Energy Star rated appliances are a good place to start looking. Stoves, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and microwaves are all available with this rating. However, if you cannot afford to invest in new appliances throughout the kitchen, start with the refrigerator. As one of the highest energy-use appliances, making the switch to an Energy Star rated fridge can save several hundred dollars within a year’s time. The Energy Star website offers a savings calculator to determine how much money you would save by trading that old fridge for a new energy-efficient model.

Read full story:

Posted by Gary H February 06, 2011 at 10:22 PM under Home Living Tips
The humble Hamper

A hamper is a primarily British term for a wicker basket, usually large, that is used for the transport of items, often food.

In North America, the term generally refers to a household receptacle for dirty clothing, regardless of its composition, i.e. “a laundry hamper“.

In agricultural use, a hamper is a wide-mouthed container of basketwork that may often be carried on the back during the harvesting of fruit or vegetables by hand by workers in the field. The contents of the hamper may be decanted regularly into larger containers or a cart, wagon, or truck.

The open ventilation and the sturdiness offered by a hamper has made it suitable for the transport of food, hence the use of the picnic hamper.

At one time it was common for laundry services to leave a large basketwork container with a lid which is now commonly referred to as a clothes hamper. The same type of container would be used to return clean clothing, which would be put away by the laundry service and the empty container left in place of the full container for later pickup.

This type of daily or bi-daily hamper service was most common with Chinese laundry services in 19th century England and America.


Posted by Andrew T February 06, 2011 at 9:21 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry
New fuel research in Japan

Butanol can be made greener by the research of a Japanese institute, who developed an energy-saving biobutanol with a density of at least 80 percent. They derived their biobutanol from a 1 percent concentrated butanol and used a zeolitic separation membrane.

Being derived from biomass sources, biobutanol’s overall carbon emissions are zero, since the carbon dioxide it emits when burned is reabsorbed by the next biofuel crops. Unlike ethanol, which has a relatively smaller energy density (27 MJ/kg), biobutanol has 34 MJ/kg and has the same cost per calorific value. Moreover, biobutanol is easier to store and the tanks don’t have to have special designs. It doesn’t mix with water, like ethanol, which is a plus.

To read more go to:

Posted by Andrew T February 05, 2011 at 10:10 PM under Alternative Energy Home Living Tips
Save money and the environment!

Here are some great ideas to help you save money and help the environment at the same time.

Energy costs – financial and environmental

Using electricity to create heat is always an energy intensive exercise; so clothes dryers do tend to be electricity hogs. According to the California Energy Commission, the average clothes dryer will cost around $1,500 to operate over its life span.

Environmentally speaking, the energy consumed by a clothes dryer can be anywhere from 1800 to 5000 watts per hour, or 1.8 to 5KwHr. Given that 1.5 pounds of carbon emissions per kilowatt hour are generated in the production of electricity by a coal fired power station (give or take a bit), over a year this comes to a considerable amount.

Benefits of line drying

The benefits of a solar clothes dryer, aka a clothes line are many; here’s just a few:

– Initial outlay is cheaper than a clothes dryer
– No ongoing energy costs
– No greenhouse gas emissions from usage
– The sun helps to kill bacteria
– A fresh smell for your clothes without the use of chemicals

Read more:

Posted by Gary H February 04, 2011 at 6:03 PM under Alternative Energy Environment
Clothesline controversy

I read this with interest…

A variety of interests are involved in the controversy about clothes lines, including: frugal living, global warming, individual rights, the economy, private property, class, aesthetics, health, energy, national security and nostalgia.

When mechanical dryers were first introduced, only well-to-do families could afford them and they became associated with affluence. However, now that most people can afford a mechanical dryer, clothes lines have become associated with a “home-town” character in neighborhoods because they are indicative of a low-crime area. (Clothes lines are used less frequently in high-crime areas because of the risk of clothes being stolen.) Also, environmental concerns and higher energy prices have created a new generation of clothes line advocates. Still, the old association with poverty persists in some people’s minds.

Those against the use of clothes lines include:

  • some associated with oil and coal companies
  • some associated with electric and gas utilities
  • some associated with peddling idealized life styles
  • mechanical clothes dryer manufacturers and retailers
  • some associated with appliance repair shops
  • people who find clothes lines aesthetically displeasing
  • older people who still associate mechanical dryers with wealth

Those in favor of using clothes lines include:

  • people who believe that clothesline use will reduce reliance on foreign energy for national security reasons
  • people who believe that clothesline use will reduce global warming
  • people who believe that clothes blowing in the breeze are aesthetically pleasant
  • older people who are nostalgic for times when everyone used clothes lines
  • people who associate them with low-crime areas
  • people who prefer to use clothes lines for personal reasons (save money, get exercise, no static cling, etc.)

The controversy surrounding the use of clothes lines has prompted many governments to pass “right-to-dry” laws allowing their use.[1] According to Ian Urbina, a reporter for The New York Times, “the majority of the 60 million people who now live in the country’s roughly 300,000 private communities” are forbidden from using outdoor clothes lines.


Posted by John T February 03, 2011 at 5:21 PM under Alternative Energy
Drying laundry indoors

This may be useful during the colder months:

Laundry may be dried indoors rather than outdoors for a variety of reasons including:

  • inclement weather
  • physical disability
  • lack of space for a line
  • legal restrictions
  • to raise the humidity level indoors
  • to lower the air temperature indoors
  • convenience
  • to preserve privacy

Several types of devices are available for indoor drying. A drying rack or clotheshorse can help save space in an apartment or clothes lines can be strung in the basement during the winter. Small loads can simply be draped over furniture or a shower curtain pole. The drying time indoors will typically be longer than outdoor drying because of the lack of direct solar radiation and the convective assistance of the wind.

The evaporation of the moisture from the clothes will cool the indoor air and increase the humidity level, which may or may not be desirable. In cold, dry weather, moderate increases in humidity makes most people feel more comfortable. In warm weather, increased humidity makes most people feel even hotter. Increased humidity can also increase growth of fungi, which can cause health problems.

To read more go to:

Posted by Gary H February 02, 2011 at 4:26 PM under Alternative Energy Clotheslines and Laundry Home Living Tips