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How Clean is your Washing?

Maybe I'm a little batty but I enjoy doing the washing. I like sorting through the sweet sick smelling baby-grows and the after-shave scented shirts and then hanging out the fresh clean clothes to flap dry in the summer sun. And for me it is good to know that in cleaning my family's clothes I am not simultaneously dirtying everyone else's world.

Most laundry detergents contain a number of chemicals that can be environmentally damaging and may also build up in our bodies. But there are environmentally friendly detergents on the market such as Ecover or Bio-D and Eco-balls which contain no detergent and work by softening the water work out the least costly option on your wallet as well as the world.

But more importantly for me is to use clean power. The electricity that runs our washing machines normally comes from fossil fuel power stations, contributing to global warming that scientists say will wipe out many species as well as cause the death of millions due to changes of climate. But we can choose to distance ourselves from this destruction simply by making a phone call to one of the electricity companies listed on Friends of the Earth's new league table of green electricity suppliers (go to www.foe.co.uk or call 0207 490 1555). These will top up the grid with energy from renewable sources such as wind and water by the same amount that you use. Top of the list is Unit[e] (call 0845 6011 410) because buying their electricity will increase the amount of renewable energy used. Unit[e] does cost about 1.50 a week more, but there are green supplies that are no more expensive, such as Scottish and Southern's RSPB Energy (call 0800 0288 552).

July Top Tip: Switch to clean electricity so you can cook, wash and light your home without polluting God's world.


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