From Clean Clothes to Dirty Trash

We don’t have much dry cleaning.  My husband wears jeans or athletic shorts to work every day, and my usual uniform consists of yoga pants or leggings or, if I’m feeling fancy, jeans.  I’m very grateful for this as dry cleaning is expensive, and the spooky chemicals involved can’t be good for anyone.  Dry cleaning is pretty bad for the environment, so I’m happy our casual lifestyle means we can pretty much avoid it.

However, we do occasionally have to drop a few things off at the dry cleaner, and when I pick them up I’m always feeling so bummed about the large plastic bags draped over the freshly pressed clothes.  Because the dry cleaner is located in our building, I usually just remove the plastic bags and ask the lady behind the counter to reuse them; the clothes will be fine on the short indoor walk back to our apartment.  But occasionally the bags make it back with us. They can be recycled at our grocery store, but it can be hard to remember them.

I thought there had to be a good way to re-use these pesky plastic bags.  Sure enough, they work wonderfully as a trash can liner for our bedrooms and bathrooms.  A simple knot on one end is strong enough to hold errant tissues, used q-tips and dryer lint.  I don’t have to buy trash bags, and I’m reusing something that might otherwise end up in the trash.  Its a win!

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6 Comments for this entry

  1. Jennifer Judd says:

    I have to say I am really disappointed that you still dry clean. It is so horrible for the environment, water and this planet. In your description of yourself, you say you want to be kinder to the planet, yet you are directly contradicting yourself by dry cleaning anything. There are great alternatives out there for dry cleaning and maybe you should think of looking into it.

    • Maureen says:

      Thanks for your comment. As I said in the post, we don’t do much dry cleaning – maybe three items a month at the most. I don’t feel confident enough to wash my daughter’s special occasion silk dress myself!!

  2. Heather says:

    I have dry cleaned in the past, but trying to aviod extra costs plus the environental affects I choose to avoid it.

    If I’m looking to purchase an item and it says dry clean only I just put it right back on the shelf, problem solved!! Children will do just fine with cotton or other materials for fancy wear. They grow out of dresses so quickly and I won’t feel guilty spending such a ridiculous amount of money on an item they won’t wear long anyway.

    I’m not trying to be judgmental but 3 times a month is a lot of dry cleaning. You should consider buying cotton 😉

    Love your blog and you!!

  3. We all do our best. Reusing sounds good to me! Great idea for my few and far between dry cleaned items as well. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Colleen says:

    I’m not as green as you, but really appreciate your tips and tricks, and employ them whenever I can. I bring clothes in for dry cleaning (on average, 5 items every other month), and have also been frustrated about the big, plastic bags. I’ve reused those that I can by covering any delicate dresses I have hanging in my closet. Moving forward, I will definitely try them out as bathroom garbage bags too. Thanks!

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