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Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-27-2007, 07:40 PM   #1
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Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Inspired by this thread on not using TP for a year I am wondering -- in which ways do you conserve resources?

I'm sure this isn't an exhaustive list, but here's a few things we do:
- Use half the amount of laundry detergent and dishwashing detergent
- Sometimes rinse off just-used plates and dry them instead of putting in the dishwasher
- Reuse towels for showering a few times
- Wash the car minimally (maybe every year or so)
- Drive infrequently
- Use heating/AC as little as possible
- Keep clothes, cars, etc as long as possible
- Buy used items whenever possible & check books out at the library
- Save all our recyclable stuff and then take it to my parents house when we can (our complex doesn't recycle)

Additions after reading other comments:
- Reuse plastic water bottles for weeks/months
- Change sheets every few weeks
- Rewear most clothes 2-3 times until they smell and/or are dirty (either by feel or look)
- Freecycle & Craigslist
- Rechargeable batteries (Did you know they have Solar Powered chargers for $15 now?)
- Signed up for local Green Power (we pay a premium for our city to purchase eco friendly power on our behalf equal to our usage)
- Flush less frequently than every toilet use
- Only run dishwasher when it's packed full

Does anybody actually reuse dryer sheets?
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-27-2007, 07:59 PM   #2
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Yep ,I reuse dryersheets ,also those bags that presents come in,drive cars until they drop and reuse plastic food storage bags.Also frequent the library and recycle bought books to my family.
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-27-2007, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

- Use half detergent
No, this is one of my extravagances - I typically tip another 1/2 portion in....

- Sometimes rinse off just-used plates and dry them instead of putting in the dishwasher
Own a dishwasher, have used it maybe twice in almost two decades of ownership

- Reuse towels for showering a few times
Nope, one use only per towel. Had to reuse as a kid, both after my brother and over more than one day, so I get a fresh towel every time now.

- Wash the car minimally (maybe every year or so)
Automatic wash once month, hand wash 3 times/yr.

- Drive infrequently
Ummm. I put on 30K or more/yr. Ouch.

- Use heating/AC as little as possible
This I do -- set to ambient temp during day and nights, only heat/cool from ~ 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM

- Keep clothes, cars, etc as long as possible
Clothes yes, cars ~5-8 yrs.

- Buy used items whenever possible & check books out at the library
Yes

- Save all our recyclable stuff
Eek, no formal recycling here, but I limit the consumption side, i.e. do not buy plastic garbage bags, or yard fertilizer, or disposable items.
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-27-2007, 08:44 PM   #4
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Don't have a dryer (hang clothes inside or outside depending on weather)

Use half detergent (have water softener)

Shower Monday Wednesday Friday - change bath towel once a week

Don't wash car (mechanic does if service is more than ~$200)

Drove 1041.1 miles in 2006

Heat at 60F (50F at night)
A/C at 85F

1989 car (~33 mpg avg)
Replace clothes/towels/sheets as they disintegrate

Recycle (via city ) plastic #1 2 6, aluminum and steel cans, glass, cardboard, almost all paper

Compost everything possible

Almost all CFL lights (a few LED)

Wash plastic bags

Grow herbs in hanging baskets (indoors and out)

Harvest plants (weeds) from backyard
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-27-2007, 08:47 PM   #5
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

I make sure I turn off all the lights. Since I have flashbacks as a kid. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS WHEN YOU LEAVE THE ROOM...
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-27-2007, 09:20 PM   #6
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

No car (rent one if needed, about once/month), bicycle instead

Never used a dryer sheet

No air conditioner (never had one)

No dishwasher (never had one or wanted one)

About 50% switched over to CFL lights so far

Mulching mower - no raking/lawn garbage for 19 years

Grow my own tomatoes, am trying onions, garlic, rosemary this year
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-27-2007, 10:16 PM   #7
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Speaking of switching over to CFLs.....

I would like to use as many CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) as possible. But our bedrooms have ceiling fans that include the lighting for the rooms. The ceiling fans have remote controls and they include dimmers on the lights. We never use the dimming feature, we use the lights on full. Most CFLs cannot be used in with fixtures that have dimmers.

I checked online and found that you can buy "dimmable" CFLs. Our Home Depot didn't carry them. I'll check Lowes tomorrow. I've found them on eBay, but it'd love to find them at a store so I don't have to pay for shipping.

Has anyone used the dimmable CFLs? Where did you find them? Do they have a buzz or cause interference with radios? My husband listens to shortwave and scanners in a room with one of the ceiling fans with the dimmer lights.
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 12:56 AM   #8
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

tried those stupid plastic balls for the dryer to save $ and supposedly not waste, but then found out the reason dryer sheets were invented in the first place when teen son's clothes didn't smell perty after wash and dry!

change towel about once per week

cloth towels in kitchen, still have paper for yucky stuff

cut my own hair (big saver for the ladies!) and both daughters, actually the boys cut their own hair too so we all scrimp on that one

hand me downs for the girls

repair shoes (stopped buying cheap ones and now only get a few pair/year and repair)

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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 06:00 AM   #9
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Ah, maybe I'm partially redeemed.

Add:

uses mulching mower - zero yard waste

do my own hair cuts - 15 years

CFL


to my list!
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 06:39 AM   #10
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)


- Use mostly cold water for clothes washer
- No clothes dryer
- Not using car AC because it is out of order (will have it fixed sometime)
- Not using dishwasher because it is out of order (will be buying replacement sometime)
- Try not to use house AC in summertime
- Try to bus or bike to destinations in town
- Use some CFL bulbs
BTW, here's an article on the mercury content of CFL bulbs and the need for their proper
handling and disposal: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070327/sc_nm/lightbulbs_dc
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 08:26 AM   #11
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

"Reuse towels for showering a few times" -

You learn something new every day! I assumed pretty much everyone used their towels at least a few times, changing it maybe 1 or 2 times a week.

So people actually dry off, then toss the towel in the clothes hamper? Do these same people have maids to wash their laundry?
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 08:41 AM   #12
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

I don't reuse dryer sheets, but...I wash towels about once a week, reuse plastic storage bags, wash most of the dishes instead of using the dishwasher, recycle plastic, paper and cardboard. Wash the cars about once a month in warmer weather, not during the winter, use public transportation to go to work, rarely buy new clothes, use the library, reuse white paper by using the blank side for scrap paper instead of post-it notes.
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 09:39 AM   #13
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
You learn something new every day! I assumed pretty much everyone used their towels at least a few times, changing it maybe 1 or 2 times a week.
I was surprised about this too. I change towels once a week. If I'm clean when I get out, then it's just water, right?

I don't have a dryer.
CFLs everywhere.
Re-use plastic bags if they're clean.
Use a cloth bag for shopping.
No dishwasher but I plan to get a highly efficient Asko.
Xeriscaped yard, so no mowing (yay!) and little watering.
I love the cold -- AC is is on but little heat is used.
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 09:39 AM   #14
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

I re-use toilet paper! Hey, it has two sides, people.
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 09:50 AM   #15
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus
I was surprised about this too. I change towels once a week. If I'm clean when I get out, then it's just water, right?
I know I'm clean before I get out of the shower. I guess I change towels every few weeks. If it starts to stink - it's definitely time to change the towel! My conservation is based around laziness.
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 10:29 AM   #16
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
I know I'm clean before I get out of the shower. I guess I change towels every few weeks. If it starts to stink - it's definitely time to change the towel! My conservation is based around laziness.
When I drop the towel and it breaks, its time to wash it.
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 11:28 AM   #17
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Whew, that's a relief, I thought we were the only skanky week-plus towel users. So...what about the bed linens? How often?
Gawd, I'm a lazy housekeeper! Good thing that it appears frugal instead of slacker in this environment.

I constantly try to use less electricity...T-Al is my electricity hero and his spreadsheets and royal example are much discussed in our house, much to DH's chagrin. I dry clothes on the line, turned the water heater down, use CFLs, turn off the lights, obsess over the plug-in deodorizers (what is worse, the dog smell or the dollar bills wafting out the door from the electric use?).

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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 11:55 AM   #18
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
When I drop the towel and it breaks, its time to wash it.
With apologies to Scott Adams, that's odd-- after a shower I'm the cleanest thing in the house, so how would my bath towel get dirty? Are bath towels supposed to fold?

Here's what we do now:
- FreeCycle
- Craigslist
- recycle dumpsters at the school parking lots
- used cars run into the ground
- compost
- vermipost
- community green waste pickup for free mulching
- mulching the yard every few months
- less fertilizer (I'm too lazy to do it more than once every few months)
- less grass (mostly fruit trees & plants)
- water conditioner (less laundry detergent & cleaning products)
- sink soaking & dishwasher instead of daily dish washing
- front-loading washing machine (what a difference!)
- no dryer sheets
- wash cloths instead of Handi-wipes or Swiffers
- water/vinegar/baking soda instead of most cleaning products, although we're not zealots or Luddites.
- solar photovoltaic (used or cosmetically blemished panels)
- solar hot water (used panels, pump, & water tank)
- compact fluorescents & LCD displays
- convection/microwave oven (used much more than our traditional oven)
- Energy Star fridge (75% of the energy use of our five-year-old model)
- incremental xeriscaping (mainly because I'm tired of pruning)
- beach showers & birdbaths instead of regular showers & tub soaks
- water-saving toilets and infrequent flushing (no wakeups!)
- the kid bikes to school
- home gym/yardwork instead of driving to the fitness center
- towels & bed linens at least biweekly

Things we're considering:
- I need to add a dead-leg loop to the water heater piping to stop reverse natural circulation. The pump cycles two-three times hourly at night to pump down the hot water that's risen to the panels.
- water catchment from the rain gutters (that's a lot of roof weight)
- more xeriscaping. I'm tired of fixing sprinkler systems.
- plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with an expanded PV array
- more home insulation (reflective foil & blown-in cellulose)
- shredding & composting paper (less trash, although HPOWER burns it to generate electricity anyway)
- sub-gallon flushing toilets or even a composting model
- gray-water irrigation (best for new construction, tough for remodels)
- Energy Star ceiling fans

Mutiny flashpoints:
- Clothes dryer. The women in this house won't do without it, although there's grudging acceptance of rack-drying towels & delicates. Considering what happened to the only other male in this house, I'm not fighting them.
- TVs. I'm sure that those CRTs use more energy than the fridge, but no one will agree to hook up bicycle generators in exchange for HGTV & MTV credits.
- Electronics on standby/sleep mode. None of our multi-decades-old VCRs retain their programming (or will record) if they're not on standby.
- Lime-Away & Tilex. A couple times a year helps a lot and hurts less than frequent/routine use of milder cleaning products.
- Water-conservation showering. I don't mind saving the heat-up water for plants & toilet flushing, but I leave the shower on while I'm soaping & scrubbing. Although I know how to live on less than 20 gallons/day, I will never again take a submarine-style shower.

I don't mind hugging trees but I'm no altruist-- just about every one of these initiatives has a financial incentive. I'm particularly tired of paying for Hawaii's deferred sewer-system maintenance and I'd love to reduce our water/sewer bills ($80/month).
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 12:01 PM   #19
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Gosh yes, we don't change towels everyday either. Depending on the time of year sometimes it's a little more frequent, like every other day in the hot humid weather when they don't completely dry between showers but mostly every 4 to 5 days.

Sheets are changed once a week
Recycle paper and bottles (I drive dh nuts with this)
I refill a bottle of water 3 times before I throw it out.
When I need hot water I catch the cold that comes out first to water plants.
Use cloth dishtowels, I use a dishwasher but only run it when it's completely stuffed full.
Old towels and clothing are cut up for cleaning rags either around the house or in the garage.


I won't repeat them but we do many of the things others here have listed.
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)
Old 03-28-2007, 12:50 PM   #20
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Re: Do you really re-use dryer sheets? (Or: How do you conserve?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus
I was surprised about this too. I change towels once a week. If I'm clean when I get out, then it's just water, right?

I don't have a dryer.
CFLs everywhere.
Re-use plastic bags if they're clean.
Use a cloth bag for shopping.
No dishwasher but I plan to get a highly efficient Asko.
Xeriscaped yard, so no mowing (yay!) and little watering.
I love the cold -- AC is is on but little heat is used.
I also use cloth bags for shopping

The store deducts a nickel for each

Forgot about that
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