Carbon Conscious Consumer (C3), a national climate campaign sponsored by the Center for a New American Dream, has a new challenge for November: Wash at least four out of every five loads of laundry in cold water.
Here are just some of the reasons why washing in cold will help beat the heat of climate change, while saving you up to $100 per year:
1. About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water, which means that only 10 percent of the electricity a washing machine consumes goes to run the motor.
2. Water heating accounts for approximately 19 percent of total home energy use, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute.3. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using less water and using cooler water can both reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes. In situations where hot water is necessary, for example, to kill dust mites in bedding or to clean heavily soiled items, use cold water in the rinse cycle.
4. Push the "cold/cold" button on your washing machine for 80 percent of the loads you do this month, says C3. By doing four out of five loads in cold water, you'll cut 72 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions this month alone.
5. If you keep washing 80 percent of the loads in cold water for a year, you'll save more than $60 in energy costs for the year-or $100 a year if you live in regions with high electricity costs. Use Energy Star machines for greater water and energy costs.
Difficulty level: Easy