Looking at Laundry in a Different Light and a Giveaway from GE

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and GE.

A couple months ago, my daughter Kayla and I were visiting the Amish community near Hazelton, Iowa. When we were there, I purchased this….
a big beautiful drying rack.

I am totally in love with the drying rack and since we purchased it, laundry at our house has taken on a whole new meaning. The drying rack is so big that I can hang one HUGE or two smaller loads of laundry on it.

In an effort to start some good habits with kids and as a way to “go a little green”, we’ve started a new system. Each day before supper, I throw a load of wash in the washing machine. In the morning, I hang it on the drying rack. Then after supper each night, the laundry is dry so the kids and I fold it and hang the new batch on the rack.

The whole process has been taking about 10 minutes out of each day….no more piles of mismanaged laundry…no daunting task…no sessions of one hour laundry folding…no yelling and no more paying the expense of drying clothes. I love it!

At first the kids weren’t super excited about it….like with anything new, everyone is reluctant to change. They felt like we “were always doing laundry”. I set a timer and they realized it was only taking a couple minutes every day compared to the daunting baskets of laundry and hour long folding session we used to deal with. Now everyone is in a better mood and we can actually spend a little family work time together.

I have found that there is a much quicker turn around and I am actually purchasing fewer clothes. Previously once laundry went to the washing machine it was often a week before it was clean and ready to wear again…now…only a day.

We converted and are using a homemade laundry soap. Back in December I was reading a blog that gave the recipe and I decided to give it a try. Over break we made a batch.

Here’s a picture of us making it. I was lots of fun…and my review of the soap, I love it!

As a parent, I think it’s important that we show our kids that conserving energy, “going green”, and reducing our carbon footprint doesn’t translate into sacrificing something. It’s just a way of life and a good way of life.

These changes we have made over the last three months, have saved us the cost of drying 80 loads of laundry. It’s saved us the cost of laundry soap.

As part of the their GE Ecomagination Program, GE is sponsoring a giveaway here on my blog with a prize of Two $50 GE energy smart LED light bulb that lasts 20 years and saves you $85 in energy cost. One given away per week of contest. To learn more about these neat new light bulbs check out this link.

Here are the rules:
You may recieve two total entries by selecting two of the following options

-leave a comment here on this blog sharing with me what you do in your home that saves energy.
-tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
-Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
-For those with not Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate entry form.

This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by eamil.
You have 24 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
Visit the Official Rules

GE is also sponsoring a larger contest, GE’s ecomagination Challenge: Powering Your Home, which is a part of GE’s global commitment to accelerate the clean energy economy with a goal to bring innovative technologies to market today from the smart grid down to household appliances. Sharing your ideas could make a major difference, not only in your home, but in homes across the country…it could be a little cash in your pocket too.

To find out more about GE’s ecomagination Challenge: Powering Your Home and learn how to enter follow this link

Check out what other bloggers are doing to conserve energy in their homes by following the link….there are LOTS of fun ideas…Visit the Exclusive Offers section

84 comments

1 Find me with a great tip and a GIVEAWAY — Jo's Country Junction { 02.15.11 at 3:13 pm }

[...] You can find me here with a great tip and a GIVEAWAY! [...]

2 Tressa { 02.15.11 at 4:07 pm }

We, too dry our clothes on a drying rack but yours looks so much nicer and bigger than mine.

3 Lorna { 02.15.11 at 4:18 pm }

Last year we installed a tankless water heater. No more paying (and using energy) to heat the tank of water when we use so little. Now we just heat what we need to heat.

4 jessie alvarado { 02.15.11 at 6:06 pm }

we started to make our own laundry soap, wash dishes the old fashion way no machine here its only used as a drying rack. :) we are extremely slowly moving to LED lighting, the bathroom is the only room at the moment. The bulbs are a little spendy. I would love to hang the clothes to dry, I’m gonna have to figure out how I can fit that in my laundry room.

5 Dionne { 02.15.11 at 7:04 pm }

Oh, thats what I need, a drying rack! It would make things so much easier at my house. I LOVE the idea of making your own soap how fun is that!
Cheers,
Dionne

6 bingobonie { 02.15.11 at 7:15 pm }

I forget how much of a savings it is… but I read once that phone chargers and ipod chargers… and such really suck up a TON of energy if left plugged into the outlet when not charging. And I know we are all guilty of that aren’t we!? So a while back I started unplugging the chargers when not in use. Just put a basket on the kitchen counter where we plug them in so we can store cords in there when not using… :)

I’ve never seen sucha tall drying rack before. My mom had one she used in the winter beside the wood burning stove. :)

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

7 Pat B from MN { 02.15.11 at 7:32 pm }

I too dry clothes on a rack, it is also a great way to add some humidity into a dry winter home. In the summer or when weather permits I use the outside clothes line. I air dry dishes. Turn off lights when not in a room. Plan trips to town for multiple functions and plan the route, so there is not any back tracking. I know I do more, but they are automatic and I do not even think of them as energy savers anymore, it is just something I do.

8 Shasta { 02.15.11 at 7:32 pm }

What a nice drying rack! I haven’t seen one that big. I try to turn off the lights when I leave a room.

9 Charity { 02.15.11 at 7:44 pm }

We try have replaced all of our lightbulbs to cfl bulbs, we try to run full loads of laundry, and when the weather permits we hang out laundry. Unfornately in the winter months, we really don’t have much choice but to use the dryer.
We also have plans to build rain barrels this spring. In order to help support the garden. And my back after using the hand pump.

10 Pam { 02.15.11 at 8:46 pm }

I use a drying rack too, sometimes. I save water-I have a rain barrel for water on the roof to water my garden, when I run water to get it hot I save that water to water plants. I have room darkening shades to help with electricity costs in the summer. We recycle our trash. We repair things that we can instead of replacing them. Lots of everyday stuff like Pat does that is second nature.

11 Jocelyn { 02.16.11 at 1:21 am }

I don’t have a drying rack, but I do hang on hangers all of our shirts and tops. I find that it not only saves money on drying, but it saves the clothes too. They do not shrink or discolor. We also turn off the computer at night and when we will be away from home and I unplug the phone chargers when they are not being used.

12 Sue Goodin { 02.16.11 at 1:59 am }

I also make my own laundry soap.
I just found a recipe for homemade dishwasher soap I’m going to try also.

13 carmen { 02.16.11 at 4:39 am }

I changed the way I use my dishwasher. I always used to use the ‘pots and pans’ cycle. Now, I only use the light ‘crystal/china’ cycle. It saves two wash cycles!

14 kelli { 02.16.11 at 11:35 am }

We’re slowly working on becoming more green. We compost what we can, turn lights off when we leave rooms, installed new weather stripping on outside doors, try to keep the heat and ac at a decent temp, etc. We are making changes that also save us money. That makes it a little easier on my husband! He’s not as green as me, yet!

15 Jennifer { 02.16.11 at 4:03 pm }

I need to use my Ikea drying rack again. thanks for the giveawya.

16 Milissa { 02.16.11 at 5:00 pm }

Since I live in a tiny apartment, there is no room for a drying rack. It is a wonderful idea that I will invest in once I buy a house.

17 Looking for a Recipe — Jo's Country Junction { 02.16.11 at 6:11 pm }

[...] Don’t forget to check out the GE Giveaway. [...]

18 Maria { 02.16.11 at 8:27 pm }

I wash clothes in cold water. I usually hang clothes to dry and the kids help by turning lights off when not being used.

19 Kelly Massman { 02.16.11 at 10:21 pm }

We turn down the heat at night in winter! Thanks!
kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

20 Dmarie { 02.16.11 at 11:07 pm }

To save electricity, we also hang dry almost ALL of our laundry. Because I have allergies though, I can’t hang sheets outdoors, so Hubby constructed an 8-ft. clothing rod in our attached garage, where I can hang both a fitted and flat sheet, plus the pillowcases using pants hangers. This rod is also useful for keeping laundry moisture out of the house when it’s raining/humid outside. We’re not in and out much, so the car fumes never once scented any laundry hanging in there.

21 yvonne { 02.16.11 at 11:15 pm }

I have a clothes line in my basement that I use constantly. We have a rain barrel and a compost bin. Our heat is turned down at night and when we are at work. And we turn off the lights when they aren’t being used.

22 AnnieO { 02.17.11 at 7:15 am }

Love that drying rack! I’d like to have a nice rack or just a clothesline set up–I’ve been looking at them in the home stores. I like the umbrella style ones–reminds me of the one we had in our backyard growing up. I’ll have to try the laundry soap idea, too. DH is addicted to Tide, though :)

To save energy, and particularly water here in the dry west, we take shorter showers, wash only full loads of clothes and dishes, turn off lights in rooms not being used, and are gradually putting in CFL bulbs. Turning off computers and monitors is also important!

23 Annie { 02.19.11 at 3:52 pm }

My daughter is right on the “green” thing. She is constantly showing me ways to reduce. We have changed all our light bulbs to the CFL …. although I have not heard of the ones you are giving away. We buy with thoughts of reducing our garbage. We have reusable tote bags for groceries.

24 Sunday Stash Report — Jo's Country Junction { 02.20.11 at 3:35 am }

[...] you haven’t seen that GE is sponsoring a giveaway, you can check that out here.   Come back tomorrow and I’ll give you a peak at what else I’m working on…no, [...]

25 shala_darkstone { 02.20.11 at 1:29 pm }

Hi, one of our problems was air blowing through our patio doors on windy days so we put in new energy efficient patio doors recently. We also use a programmable thermostat and timers on our lights to save energy.

26 shala_darkstone { 02.20.11 at 1:30 pm }
27 Rebecca Graham { 02.21.11 at 7:56 am }

We unplug recharger cords when not in use.

28 SANDY { 02.21.11 at 1:28 pm }

unplug too..we hang clothes to dry too year round

29 Jeff P { 02.21.11 at 2:17 pm }

I use CFL bulbs and keep the thermostat low in the winter and high in the summer

30 Courtney S { 02.21.11 at 4:43 pm }

We are replacing our bulbs with EF bulbs as the other ones go out so it’s not so expensive!

31 Jeanne { 02.22.11 at 5:25 am }

We never turn on lights until it is totally dark, keep all chargers removed from the electric source except when in use. Everything that is electric is on a timer, exp: we do not heat water during the day, it shuts off at 8:00 am and runs for 2 hours in the evening for dishes and showers. We have switched over most of our light bulbs to the cfl, I think that is right. This past fall, we checked for air leaks around doors and windows and addressed those issues. We never ever change our thermostat, unless it is to lower it.

32 Kirsten { 02.22.11 at 9:31 am }

Our problem: having the most energy efficient appliances. We live in an apartment so we can’t buy and replace them. So I make them as efficient as possible. I use only cold water in the washer. Clean the lint filter and the back of the dryer regularly. We open the curtains wide on sunny days for light and close heavy curtains to keep cold out.

33 Cynthia C { 02.22.11 at 1:16 pm }

I wear clothing several times between washings and buy lots of socks and underwear so I only need to do laundry once a week. I also run the dishwasher only when I have a full load and use the energy saver dry cycle.

34 Cynthia C { 02.22.11 at 1:18 pm }
35 Tweets that mention Looking at Laundry in a Different Light and a Giveaway from GE — Jo's Country Junction Reviews -- Topsy.com { 02.22.11 at 2:06 pm }

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cynthia Conley, Madeline. Madeline said: Looking at Laundry in a Different Light and a Giveaway from GE — Jo's Country Junction Reviews: http://bit.ly/dWNvaE [...]

36 Dave Stephenson { 02.22.11 at 3:51 pm }

I’ve started using more LED lights–at first they seem more expensive but have seen my electric bills dramatically drop as a result

37 Janice Whitaker { 02.22.11 at 6:53 pm }

I dont have an idea that hasnt been mentioned already :( I am conserving and using ideas I have gotten her
whit1966@gmail.com

38 Erica David { 02.22.11 at 10:04 pm }

I’ve had solar panels on my roof for 10 years — I bought my system but now you can lease panels for zero-down from sungevity.com. Big electricity savings! Also, your school can raise money through the sungevity.org Beyond the Bake Sale solar fundraising program.

39 Deborah R { 02.23.11 at 1:01 am }

We don’t even own a dryer; in good weather, I hang clothes outside. In bad weather, inside (but I do envy you you drying rack!). We use only cold water in the washer, are replacing all our lightbulbs with energy efficient models, and have started using energy conserving smart strips for our TVs and related electronics.

40 Suzanne K { 02.23.11 at 9:59 pm }

I got solar panels years ago when the tax rebates were great and have been thrilled! I no longer have to cringe everytime the power company raises it’s rates! We are still super conservative about using power (air dry clothes/dishes, lower temps in winter, less AC in summer, curly bulbs, turn things off…), but it’s a nice feeling to not have to stress! I’m also doing a lot in my garden – fruit trees and veggies and then preserving for later (talk about eating local and healthy). And, my latest project is rainwater harvesting! I have big cisterns that the water goes into (out of gutter on roof) and I then use that water for my garden! Win, win! I also make my own laundry soap and other cleaners (no more container waste, fuel to deliver…)

41 Scraps and Shirttails II — Jo's Country Junction { 02.24.11 at 3:46 pm }

[...] another way I am “going green”….Don’t forget to take time to check out the GE Light Bulb giveaway.  It’s still going on and you don’t want to miss your chance to win their amazing new [...]

42 Brenda { 02.24.11 at 4:12 pm }

We hang most of our clothes on a drying rack. I have been doing this for years. Ours is in the basement so it takes a few days to dry.
We also have switched most of our lights over to the new energy efficient light bulbs.

43 Katie { 02.24.11 at 4:57 pm }

I purchased an umbrella clothes dryer for my backyard last summer. We live in the desert, so our weather is dry and nice year round. In the “wintertime” I can dry the clothes in about half a day outside. In the summertime, it takes all of about 2 hours at most! We are trying to do things like replace light bulbs with cfls when possible and economical, doing multiple errands in one trip, recycling EVERYTHING we can, and buying raw unprocessed food from local sources as much as possible. I am joining the quilting world soon and will be focusing on scrap quilting (to reduce my own stash and to reuse fabrics – love this idea). Anything to reduce the impact while still having fun!

44 elizabeth p { 02.24.11 at 6:43 pm }

We are slowly replacing our decades old appliances with more efficient ones.

45 Jean D. { 02.24.11 at 8:55 pm }

I unplug appliances, use curly lightbulbs, keep the thermostat low, use a heat pump, recycle and repurpose. However, it wasn’t until I found a triple window leaking cold air that I was able to lower our out-of-control heating bill. I covered the windows in plastic, and the bill dropped dramatically. I’m still amazed at how much money and warmth one sheet of plastic managed to save.

Thanks for the chance to win even more energy savings!

46 Jean D. { 02.24.11 at 8:56 pm }
47 Jenny { 02.26.11 at 12:29 am }

We have a problem remembering to turn off everything we’re not using… lights, power strips, etc.. but we’re trying to be conscious!

48 ky2here { 02.26.11 at 2:48 am }

We use energy star appliances and programmable thermostats.

ky2here at msn dot com

49 ky2here { 02.26.11 at 2:49 am }

Here’s my tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/ky2here1/status/41328841599365121

ky2here at msn dot com

50 Derk Thomas { 02.26.11 at 3:30 am }

Lowering the heat and doing some weatherstripping but will have to do more next year.

51 SaraLee E { 02.26.11 at 6:27 am }

To save on energy I wash my clothes in cold water, turn the heat down at night and during the day when the sun is beating on the roof.

52 SaraLee E { 02.26.11 at 6:37 am }
53 ferriz { 02.27.11 at 11:56 am }

to save energy we keep the heater at below 70*s and try and line dry clothes as much as possible.

54 Erica C. { 02.27.11 at 2:02 pm }

Our latest thing is that we are unplugging everything we aren’t using at the moment.

55 liz { 02.27.11 at 2:42 pm }

I have a small half bath by the utility room. I was able to put in an old shower curtain rod in the room. I can roll it above the door to hide it when not in use. I hang up shirts, etc on padded hangers and then close the door. By the next morning, the clothes are dry and don’t need as much ironing.

I am getting rid of the cfls as they go bad – I don’t like the mercury issue – have you read what you have to do in case you break one in your house? I think I’ll be taking the entire lamp out of the house when it gets to that time to change!

I also put in a solar tube in a dark hallway, so I don’t have to turn on lights while walking through. A few night lights in key spots and I don’t turn on any lights if going to the kitchen, bathroom or walking around the house real late at night!

56 Debra F { 02.27.11 at 9:11 pm }

We have installed faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads to cut water heating costs, but the biggest problems is that all of the members of my family REALLY love taking long showers. We occasionally indulge now, but most of the time we limit our time in the shower.

57 kittycardero { 02.28.11 at 12:10 am }

I do laundry with cold water, keep the thermostat low, and unplug most stuff when it’s not in use.

58 kittycardero { 02.28.11 at 12:11 am }
59 Reeva { 02.28.11 at 3:06 am }

We compost, reduce, reuse, reuse again, and recycle! We also reduce heat in winter and unplug items we dont use regularly. I also limit hot water use. OUr biggest energy problem is the a/c in the scorching summer. It HAS to be on.

60 Terri { 02.28.11 at 2:26 pm }

hi

61 clynsg { 02.28.11 at 4:37 pm }

I need a more energy efficient dishwasher, and my refrigerator is old enough that it probably is not as good as it could be. But the first thing I want to get is one of the new power strips that will leave items like the DVR on while turning off the other electronics plugged into it. I have been replacing my light bulbs as they burn out, and most of them now are CFL bulbs. About the only ones left are the high ceiling ones and a few smaller wattage ones that haven’t had appropriate CFL replacements up to now.

62 susan smoaks { 02.28.11 at 4:49 pm }

we save energy by using the clothes line whenever possible. we keep the a/c on 80 when we are not home and we keep everything turned off when not in use.

63 lilshuga2001 { 02.28.11 at 5:36 pm }

We open curtains to use sunlight! and use energy saving light bulbs

64 lilshuga2001 { 02.28.11 at 5:36 pm }
65 Deborah Wellenstein { 02.28.11 at 6:41 pm }

I line dry when I can-I am intrigued by our drying rack-we have put plastic sheeting over our leakiest windows, and are using the curlicue lightbulbs. Thanks!

66 R Hicks { 02.28.11 at 6:59 pm }

our biggest challenge is using too much hot water. WE lowered the heater temp a few degrees and save a lot

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

67 R Hicks { 02.28.11 at 6:59 pm }

tweet
http://twitter.com/#!/Ardy22/status/42297535498424321
ardy22 at earthlink dot net

68 Denise S { 02.28.11 at 8:16 pm }

My biggest challenge is air seeping through the windows and doors that are too thin or not sealed well enough.

lazybones344 at gmail dot com

69 angie { 02.28.11 at 8:50 pm }

Even though we are extremely conservative in our energy usage (all lights are CFLs, turn lights off in all rooms not being used, keep thermostat set to 65 in the winter, etc.), our power bill is still over $100 this month. I would love to see how this new light bulb helps. I can’t wait until the price comes down!

70 angie { 02.28.11 at 9:08 pm }
71 scott { 02.28.11 at 9:30 pm }

Shut off lights when you leave a room, use daylight rather than turning on lights at all when possible, wash all your laundry in cold water when possible , line dry your clothing when possible, set your thermostat high in the summer and low in the winter, use energy efficient appliances and light bulbs, unplug things that are not in use, etc. We do all of these things and wish the whole planet did! Our power bill is still high to me, but to other people its insanely low. I wish I could afford solar panels for my roof!

72 Joanne Schultz { 02.28.11 at 9:34 pm }

keeping house costs to a minimum is important when one is unemployed.
I turn the thermostat down to save on fuel & $$! And I turn it lower when we are not home.
Thanks for the giveaway!

73 Joanne Schultz { 02.28.11 at 9:34 pm }
74 Joanne Schultz { 02.28.11 at 9:36 pm }

please delete comment 48 –
tweet – http://twitter.com/js22222222/status/42337160354996224

75 scott { 02.28.11 at 9:37 pm }
76 Sarah L { 02.28.11 at 11:55 pm }

A programmable thermostat is great. Keeps temp down when you’re asleep or away & warms up when you need it. Thanks for the contest.

77 Sarah L { 02.28.11 at 11:56 pm }
78 Donna K { 03.01.11 at 12:25 am }

My biggest problem is getting the kids to turn off the lights when they leave the room.

79 Beth { 03.01.11 at 12:41 am }

I switch off the lights whenever I can (and turn them off when my husband leaves them on), and unplug chargers when they’re not in use.

80 Diane Baum { 03.01.11 at 12:51 am }

We turn our humistead to 68 degrees

81 barbara wright { 03.01.11 at 12:57 am }

I cut my electric bill IN HALF by following the guidelines the electric company sends out. A lot of them are obvious, but the one that helped me the most was doing my laundry all in one sitting – that way the dryer only has to heat up once..

82 barbara wright { 03.01.11 at 12:57 am }
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