It is that time of year again, swapping out the winter for the summer clothes. Why not take the opportunity to green up your closet using this Care2 guide of tips we’ve compiled over the years. Start off with a green closet redux quiz, and move on to learn how to replace moth balls, find a greener dry cleaner, understand active fibers, and more.
• Take our Green Closet Quiz and find out what you can do to make your closet healthier.
• Clear out closet clutter. Follow the rule that you wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time, and give away clothes accordingly. While you do so read about the active fibers in the next tip, and remove synthetic fibers.
• Choose active fibers, those that help your body. The fab four active fibers are linen, cotton, silk, wool. In the summer, especially, wearing natural fibers that breathe with your body, ventilate, absorb moisture, and help you maintain your body temperature, are a gift. Cotton is great for general warm weather; linen is ideal very hot weather because it absorbs 20 percent or more of its weight in water; silk also breathes, absorbs moisture and is soft and mildew resistant; and wool is now used by sports teams in the summers because of its remarkable ability to wick away moisture from the body and help to maintain body temperature.
• Pack your sweaters away safely. Moth balls are now known carcinogens. Read about our moth ball alternatives, including lovely herbal sachets.
• Remove the mothball smell from existing clothes by hanging them in the sun whenever possible.
• Remove all clothes from bedroom closets that have been conventionally dry cleaned because the perchloroethylene used to clean the clothes will continue to waft around the room and it is highly neurotoxic. Consider alternative dry cleaners in the future, or learn to hand wash using DIY wet cleaning techniques for wool, silk, and rayon.
• Strict flammability standards have been established for the flammability of children’s sleepwear. Synthetic sleepwear must be flame resistant and to do so they have to be treated with flame-retardant chemicals. The safest choice for children’s sleepwear is snug-fitting, 100 percent cotton sleepwear because it doesn’t have to be treated. Pure wool sleepwear is also exempt from the treatment. Avoid loose-fitting pajamas because they create air spaces that can accelerate flames.
• Choose “free and clear” laundry products and synthetic dryer sheets to avoid synthetic scents wafting through your bedroom. Learn more here.
• When clothes shopping, consider our Easy Greening techniques.