April 2016 - Our Daily Green

Friday, April 22, 2016

PureWash Pro Laundry System [review]

simple to install, begin using within minutes
A few weeks ago, Our Daily Green asked, "Can you do laundry with just water and oxygen?" and we wanted to review the pureWash Pro laundry system. 

We were intrigued by the premise that you could clean your clothing without any soap or detergent, but admittedly skeptical.

We eagerly set up our pureWash Pro within minutes. We simply had to mount the system to the wall and attach the water hoses. 

When we first started the system, we were greeted with a "WHOOSH" sound as the cold water was infused with oxygen. We added our first load and waited eagerly for the results. What was really fascinating was the fresh scent filling the laundry room. It smelled just like the air after a rainstorm. My daughter joked that she expected to see earthworms on the ground, because a good rain goes hand in hand with worms on the sidewalk.

But all that aside, DOES pureWash Pro actually clean my laundry? I've been using it for about a month now and my answer is a resounding YES! In fact, I also testify that my husband's t-shirts are much brighter and whiter.

I still have quite a bit of eco-friendly laundry detergent left, so I've been adding a small amount (as recommended) to the especially dirty loads of laundry. I am positively delighted with the results! When I know that hospitals and hotels use pureWash Pro for their linens, I am confident it's going to work in my house as well.

I love that the system uses only cold water and the great rain shower scent that occurs from the naturally oxygenated water. It's also a great alternative to harsh soaps or detergents. Fabric can retain up to 2% of its original weight in residue after laundering. That residue sits next your skin in all your clothing and can be a source of allergic reactions and discomfort. In our quest to stop itching, we've discovered one product after another that will reduce our exposure to chemicals. In that same vein, there is also a diverter on the pureWash Pro to use the oxygenated water for household cleaning. What a super idea!

For additional laundry tips, we recommend drying racks or if you are using a dryer, wool dryer balls. We've about mastered the art of cleaning our clothing in the most earth-friendly way possible.

Our Daily Green is proud to work with pureWash and gives this system our highest possible endorsement. As a disclaimer, we were provided the system free of charge in exchange for our honest opinion. We would never endorse a product that didn't live up to our expectations.

Thank you again, pureWash!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Curbside Crisis (from Otherwords.org)

How much of what you recycle ends up at the dump?

Do you cross the street to put your soda can in the recycling bin or avidly pluck plastics and paper from your neighbor’s trash cans? The current state of recycling in the United States may surprise you.
It’s in trouble for many reasons, including two straightforward ones. Most programs dump everything together — and consumers are confused about what goes into their recycling bins.
Single-stream recycling, first developed in the 1990s, offers the allure that everything can be recycled without duplicating efforts to handle paper, plastic, glass, and metal refuse. Creating a single blue bin where people can toss all kinds of recyclable items did away with the need to separate your bottles from your cans from your newspapers.
When your commingled recyclables arrive at the facility, they travel along conveyor belts where someone manually pre-sorts them. Then the stuff goes through a series of screens that separate items by weight and shape, and strong magnets mechanically sort the steel and aluminum products.
(Photo: Dawn Paley / Flickr)
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. communities that recycle used this approach by 2010.
The single-stream system sounds great, but it’s not perfect. The biggest problem is that contamination can occur at your home or workplace, in your curbside bin, at the sorting facility, or on the way there.
For example, glass bottles can break and sully plastic and paper bales with broken shards, making them unfit for turning into new recycled products. And when paper is co-mingled with plastic food containers, it can be ruined with lingering food and beverage residues.
These contaminated recyclables, unfortunately, often end up in landfills — or else they’re bought by countries with a lower standard for materials being recycled. In 2014, nearly 40 percent of paper items that were put into the recycling stream — which otherwise would have been great for making more sustainable paper products here in the United States — went overseas.
If you’ve ever wondered about the fate of your discarded recyclables, you may want to yell “Why even bother?”
But don’t trash your blue bin. Here’s how you can stop wasting your recycling efforts.
First, don’t “wish-cycle.”
Lumping together old garden hoses, plastic shopping bags, and old sneakers with newspapers and plastic milk jugs won’t get that junk reincarnated as yogurt containers.
It just increases the cost of the entire recycling process by making it harder to haul and sort everything, because workers will be taking your wish-cycled items to a different destination — a trash incinerator or landfill. Learn your local recycling rules and follow them.
Second, don’t grab that bag.
Putting your recyclables into a bag to carry them out to the recycling bin might seem logical, but every bag has to be ripped open at the sorting facility — a time-consuming process that holds up the sorting line. This time crunch is sometimes “solved” along the way by tossing the bags of recyclables into the trash pile.
Instead, try collecting and carrying your recyclables out to the bin in a container or box, and reuse it every week.
Finally, play the sorting game.
See if your city has special collection points for electronics or specific plastic containers to ensure they end up in the right place. Some cities even collect paper separately to protect it from contamination. Castoffs unfit for curbside collection might be perfect for a recycling drop-off at a nearby grocery or supply store. Check Earth911.com to discover what can be recycled where.
Recycling is an important service to our society — and our planet. If U.S. recycling levels can rise to a 75 percent participation rate, that would equal the environmental benefit of removing 50 million cars from the road each year and could generate 1.5 million new green jobs.
All it would take to turn things around and keep more of our trash out of the dump is a handful of new recycling habits.
Beth Porter directs Green America’s Better Paper Project. GreenAmerica.org
Distributed by OtherWords.org
Creative CommonsExcept where otherwise noted, content from Otherwords.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative 3.0 License.