Photograph by Gabi Moisa/Shutterstock
- Faster is better. Faster spin cycles rid clothes of more water and aid in drying times.
- Adjust water levels. Adjust the washing machine so that water levels match the load of laundry.
- Wait. Wash only full loads.
- Use cold water. Wash your clothes in cold water. A slight 10 percent of the electricity consumed in washing a load of clothes goes to run a washer's motor; the remaining 90 percent is used to heat the water. Washing clothes in cold water can cut CO₂ emissions down by 100 pounds and save you up to $64 a year on your energy bill. In situations where hot water is necessary (for instance, to kill dust mites in bedding), use cold water to rinse.
- Use less detergent. You'll save water by not having to run extra rinse cycles. Some washing machines have programmable wash cycles, which include water level and water temperature settings.
- Arctic Shipping Soars, Led by Russia and Lured by Energy
- Drilling for Oil by Hand
- Winning Wood Stove Designs Announced
- Poland Hosts Climate Talks, While Boosting Coal Industry
- Q&A With Philippines Climate Envoy Who's Fasting After Super Typhoon Haiyan
- IEA World Outlook: Six Key Trends Shaping the Energy Future
- Philippines Disaster Risks
- North Dakota's Salty Fracked Wells Drink More Water to Keep Oil Flowing
More About Green Living
The National Geographic Society aims to be an international leader for global conservation and environmental sustainability. Learn more about the Society's green philosophy and initiatives.
From Google energy markets to new nuclear fusion technologies, stay on top of the world's power puzzle.
From dams in Patagonia and drought in Pakistan to the business of bottled water and the H20 footprint of a beer, visit National Geographic News' special series on the world's water challenges.
Green Living Video
The Great Energy Challenge
An initiative to help you understand our current energy situation.
See how you measure up against others, and how changes at home could do tons to protect the planet.
Special Ad Section
The World's Water
NG's new Change the Course campaign launches. When individuals pledge to use less water in their own lives, our partners carry out restoration work in the Colorado River Basin.
A special series on how grabbing water from poor people and future generations threatens global food security, environmental sustainability, and local cultures.