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Action alert

Eco-Challenge: Make a laundry list of changes

 Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet


As part of our commitment to Earth via our Laudato Si’ Action Plan, we are inviting everyone who shares in our charism to take a monthly Eco-Challenge with us.

Change things up in your laundry room

One small area where individuals can make a big impact is in their choices about how they do laundry. Quick, cost-saving changes you can make today include using cold water and line drying.

Several of our sisters have been using plastic-free laundry sheets and wool dryer balls for a while. We’ve put together a list of eco-friendly items recommended by our sisters, associates and partners in mission, which you can find on our Recommended Sustainable Products page. Click on the drop-down box labeled “Eco-Friendly Laundry Products.”

The Saga of Snappy Shirt

Follow Snappy Shirt through its laundry cycle below.

A comic strip about a tshirt's journey through a sustainable laundry cycle

Snappy Shirt gets washed in cold water, saving energy; using detergent sheets, cutting out plastic and reducing shipping impacts; follows that by a tumble dry with wool dryer balls, eliminating fabric softener. Snappy Shirt looks forward to line drying in the future to save all the energy used by the dryer.

Take the Eco-Challenge

In May, choose one or all of these challenges to make a laundry list of changes. Earn a soap bubble for each of these sustainable swaps.

  • Use cold water for washing and rinsing (1 soap bubble)
  • Use laundry detergent sheets, not detergent in a plastic jug (1 soap bubble)
  • Use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets (1 soap bubble)
  • Line dry your laundry (2 soap bubbles)

How many bubbles did you suds up? Share in a comment below!

Spread the word

  1. Choose your challenge above
  2. Share your commitment in the comments section below.
  3. Claim your May Eco-Challenge badge by sharing our post on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.
I completed the May Eco-Challenge: Make a laundry list of changes

10 thoughts on “Eco-Challenge: Make a laundry list of changes”

  1. Avatar

    I didn’t know how much heat can be saved by using cold water in which to wash clothes. Also, most laundries in the motherhouse have no way to dry clothes by hanging them on a line. Woolen balls help keep wrinkles from forming and some laundry can be dried easily by hanging over the shower curtain bar in the bathroom.

  2. Avatar

    I just heard about pinning a safety pin to the wool dryer balls to reduce static electricity especially as the dryer ball gets older. Also, as they get older put them in the washing machine to revive them!

    1. Kim Westerman

      I learned from experience to use a pliers to make sure the safety pins can’t open up and fall out during the cycle. I just squeezed the head of the pin. I can’t say I’ve seen a huge difference in static, but I’m going to try running them through the wash again!

  3. Avatar

    I am enjoying laudry sheets- they get clothes clean and fresh and no waste! The dryer balls are great, too. Mine were getting worn so I took the “foot” part of old wool socks and gave them new life! Line drying is a challange. I do line dry some clothes, but struggle to carry all the wet clothes up 4 flights of stairs, so it’s a compromise.

  4. Avatar
    Sr. Kristina DeNeve

    Well, I get four bubbles for the laundry challenge. I admit that I do not like how my socks and towels feel when they are line dried so they still go in the dryer. I’ll take any suggestions folks have on how to “fluff” up items that feel softer coming out of the drier than line drying?!

    1. Avatar

      I find that putting towels in the dryer for 10-15 minutes then hanging them to dry the rest of the way still gives them the soft/ fluffy feel! Although it does not completley eliminate using the dryer it helps save some energy.

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    Sr. Pat Murphy, CSJ

    The soap sheets are new to me, but I haven’t noticed a difference in how clean my laundry is. Wool dryer balls seem to still leave static, but it doesn’t create a major problem for me. As long as I am not required to take a cold shower, the cold water wash works just fine. I have not yet figured out where to hang wet clothes indoors (drying on the balcony is frowned upon), so I only get three soap bubbles.

  6. Avatar

    I’ve been using cold water only for washing and rinsing for years – always happy with results. The soap sheets are new for me. So far, they seem equal to liquid detergent. I only get two stars though. I’ve never used dryer sheets or wool balls to reduce static. I have no outside line for drying clothes but I do have a small inside line that I use regularly.

  7. Avatar

    I get three bubbles, I have been washing and rinsing in cold water for many years.
    I use the dryer balls, for about 2 years. We started using the laundry sheets this year and the results have been good. In my former residence, I was able to line dry most of my clothes but can only line dry a portion of them now ( not enough clothes line space),

  8. Avatar

    Like Janet (with whom I live) I use cold water, laundry sheets and dryer balls. I appreciate the information about how to “revitalize” the dryer balls because ours do not seem to prevent static as well as they did before. One other thought. I cut the dryer time at least in half by drying the clothes in the dryer to get a little of the moisture out and then I hang them up to complete the drying process. This is easy to do with tops and slacks. I put them on hangers and hang them up overnight. We have space where we can hang them in the basement, but in another house, I just hung them all over my room overnight. They were dry in the morning.

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About us

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.


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