Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Home & GardenCleaning & Laundry · 1 decade ago

Am I helping the environment if I have to drive 5 miles out of my way to go to an organic dry cleaner?

I usually take clothes to the dry cleaner near me, on my way home, wasting almost no gas. But a dry cleaner about 5 miles out of my way just started offering organic dry cleaning. Am I helping or hurting the environment if I'm wasting more gas to get a "greener" dry cleaning service?

Also, are there any websites or other resources that have quizzes or charts that compare tough questions like this--like is it better to take showers or baths, wash dishes by hand or in the machine, or use paper towels or sponges?

P.S. - We take a few items to the dry cleaner about twice a month. They are items like suits, that cannot be washed at home.

3 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Organic dry cleaners use earth friendly chemicals instead of Perchlorothylene (PCE). If used appropriately, PCE is fine, but many of the old dry cleaners have major issues from PCE being dumped on the ground or into floor drains and getting into soil and groundwater where it's very difficult to cleanup. If your dry cleaner is newer, with modern processing facilities, then it's probably fine. If it's an older one, check with your state environmental agency to see if they are listed as a contaminated site already. 5 miles is not a long way, but it's good to keep these things in mind when you're making green decisions on an everyday basis.

    p.s. Showers use much less water than baths generally, handwashing uses less water than standard washers, but many new ones recycle their own water. Sponges last a long time and don't come from trees, but you can get recycled paper towels and support recycling. Use the sponge where you can, but there's probably not a big difference.

  • 1 decade ago

    Perhaps you can save up the dry cleaning until you are headed that direction for another errand. Or maybe you can walk or ride your bike in the evening. Otherwise I probably would not. Even if you weren't concerned with the environment, the cost of gas for 5 miles is something to think about.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's nice to think green..........but we need help from the big boys with the bucks............if they don't care........well you know the story...........shop with your own bag........and save on everything...........esp. gas...............good luck

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