Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Easy switch: Ecoballs and Washing Nuts.
The above is a picture of some balls which are commonly used around our apartment. What kind of balls? you ask. They're actually called ecoballs :)
They're basically a more eco-friendly way of doing laundry without having to go through tons of plastic bottles for liquid or powder detergents. The way they work is that they're filled with these little pellets which will last you about 150 washes (though you can buy a 1000 version as well)... you basically just throw them in your washing machine, 2 at a time. After the 150th wash (we have a small piece of paper which we use to keep track) you can unscrew the balls open and fill the balls with replacement pellets and use them again.
They come in a pack of 2 in a cardboard box. There are a few replacement pellets in there in a small plastic bag, and they themselves are made of plastic but in my opinion, it's less plastic than you'd end up buying with a bottle of detergent. I'm not promoting this company, though I have enjoyed using this product, but I just wanted to point out some options in terms of washing detergents. These are made by Ecozone, as fast as I can tell, a Finnish company. I actually got mine from Stockmann (after an insane search all over Helsinki and Tampere.)
I have also heard talk and seen some "washing nuts" in eco-friendly stores. They have them in Finland at Ruohonjuuri or Punnitsee ja säästä-type stores. Here is some more information about these: on Wikipedia or on Treehugger.
I haven't tried these because I only heard of them after buying the Ecozone ones but I figure they should work. If you check out the Wikipedia link above, it seems people have been using them for hundreds of years.
Now here's the thing, while trying to find other companies with similar products which may be delivered in other areas throughout the world, I came across so many articles written about direct-marketing and other laundry-ball-related scams. Reading any of these can make you feel like an idiot for considering the idea but hear me out. I heard about this from a trusted friend who liked them and thought I might be interested. I bought them for about 20€ (not the $75 ones they're bashing all over the internet). After which I proceeded to recommended them to a friend (or actually buy them as gifts for people) and have had no complaints. If you're unsure about which ones work and which don't, I would recommend trying the laundry nuts, since they're all natural and aren't exactly associated with a brand and its efficiency, but rather, just basic nature and chemistry.
If you have more to add on the topic, including your own experiences with eco-friendly products, leave us a comment below!