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6 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Toxic Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets are generally made of a polyester sheet that’s been covered in a fabric softener chemical and, usually, fragrance chemicals. The amount of fragrance used in dryer sheets can be significant, representing up to 10 percent of the product's contents. These chemicals rub off the dryer sheet and coat your clothing in a slimy layer that has the effect of making your clothes feel softer.
These commercial fabric softeners can make you sick. Many formulas emit chemical fumes like toluene, styrene and phenol that can cause acute respiratory tract inflammation and irritation, says an oft-cited study by Anderson Laboratories.
But what to do when dry winter air makes static-laden skirts scrunch and bunch and pants creep up to your knees?
Here are six easy, all-natural ways to banish static cling from your laundry:
- Add 1/4 cup (or less) of either vinegar or borax to your laundry wash cycle or add 1/4 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
- Switch to a green fabric softener, like those made by Seventh Generation or Mrs. Meyer’s, or look for brands made with vegetable-based surfactants, salt and natural scents.
- Choose clothing made from natural fibers, which don’t get static cling as readily.
- Shake out your clothes when you remove them from the dryer.
- For clothes that are already clean, put on the garment. If it is a skirt or dress, reach up underneath the garment and brush the inside of the garment with a metal hanger, top to bottom. If the item is a pair of pants, elongate the hanger by flattening it, then reach up inside each pant leg and brush downward.
- Make your own wool dryer balls.
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The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.