by Pam Flowerday
There’s a lot of buzz about going “green” in our personal lives and in the workplace. We often assume this means buying more expensive, eco-friendly products, resulting in higher costs for our massage practice. But in the laundering department, there are many things you can do to save water, energy and resources that will also save you money and time. Here are some tips for laundering your massage sheets that can help the planet and your budget:
1. Research reviews about linens before you buy. Make sure they are durable and won’t need replacing in less than three years. It would cost you more to buy cheap linens and replace them frequently than to invest in linens that last. Conserve materials and send fewer sheets to the landfill by using durable brands.
2. Consider lighter fabrics that launder more efficiently. Wash full loads or select the “light load” setting on your washer, so you don’t waste water.
3. Switch to water-dispersible massage creams and oils, so you can wash with warm rather than hot water. This alone will cut the energy cost nearly in half. Help lift residual oils by adding a half cup of hydrogen peroxide or baking soda to your wash rather than using toxic chemical treatments.
4. If possible, line dry your sheets since this is the best environmental option in warm weather. If this is not possible, use your dryer efficiently. Also, keep the lint trap clean for optimal air flow and quicker drying times. Calculate how long it takes to dry a standard load of your linens, then set your dryer appropriately each time you dry. Over-drying wastes energy and wears your sheets unnecessarily.
5. Toss a couple of used but clean tennis balls into the dryer with your sheets. This will cut drying times by 50 percent and help fluff comforters.
It’s easy to launder mindfully. Green the planet and your wallet by following these simple tips in your practice now.
Pam Flowerday received her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and worked as a fundraiser for nonprofit environmental programs for 18 years. She transitioned to a career in massage and energy work in 1997, managed the bodywork department of a day spa for five years and currently maintains a healing arts practice in Alameda, California. In 2010, Flowerday developed and launched Green Earth Massage Sheets (GEMS), new ultra-light microfiber massage linens, which are available through her website, www.greenearthmassagesheets.com, and on Amazon.com.