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Why we don't use some stuff., Zero-Waste Fast Food extras

Why we don’t use fabric softener.

Every family needs to make their own decisions and this is just one of ours. Over the years we have tried both fabric softener and dryer sheets. Luckily the water in our town is soft and our laundry turns out fine just with detergent. As part of my de-cluttering we used up what was left of a few different brands of dryer sheets. They were just using up space. I have a bunch of concerns about the perfumes used in these products. One brand even boasted that their smell lasted days and days on laundry. What chemical cocktail makes that possible? Don’t even get me started on all the dryer sheets that get thrown away each year.

A few years ago we went on vacation in Mexico. We paid to get our laundry washed and it came back strongly smelling of a familiar fabric softener. Part of me felt comforted by the smell. Childhood memories probably. Luckily, David Suzuki‘s Queen of Clean recently wrote some FAQ’s about cleaning products and reminded of my reasons for our ban. Here’s the link http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/faqs-about-green-cleaning/. I think we will try adding vinegar or baking soda to the rinse cycle if we ever feel the need to soften our clothes more. Just imagine how much money we will save!

On a recent episode of “My Strange Addiction” they state that dryer sheets have at least 12 known carcinogens. These chemicals end up in the air we breathe and next to our skin. Here is an article about the show…


I think it’s our jobs to question all the products we are constantly being told we need. Did our great gramma’s need them? Could we live without them? What could we do with the money we save by not buying them at all?


Just an added zero-waste fast food adventure. It was at a different McDonald’s than my first time. My greediness for extra pickles caused them to stick a special order note to the bottom of my Rubbermaid container. They also used a medium french fry cup to measure out my fries. I made the employee promise me that they would reuse it for the next customer. Hopefully they complied! This location didn’t have the self-serve soda fountain but they had no problem filling my Starbucks cup.


About stephanieough

Wife, mom, concerned citizen of the earth. Striving towards intentional living rather than blindly following. Former Education Specialist for a corporation, I have now taken a step back to spend time with my family and work closer to home. Hoping to reduce our waste through refusing, reducing and reusing so that we will not have to recycle as much. Also, I love to explore zero-waste fast food and take pictures of my sucesses. I'm a fan of British comedies like Red Dwarf and Black Adder, Kevin Smith and his movies, Asian food, documentaries, biographies and going to Las Vegas on vacation. If someone told me I could only listen to the Beatles for the rest of my life I would die happy.


One thought on “Why we don’t use fabric softener.

  1. i stopped using them 6 years ago or so because i heard about the cancer component. i later learned i was allergic to all artificial fragrances so i switched to unscented (or natural scent – like lavender) shampoo, detergent, dish soap, lotion, deoderant, etc. It’s tricky looking because often a manufacturer will say ‘unscented’ and then on the back is ‘fragrance,’ or ‘parfum’ as a masking fragrance.

    Posted by sonrie | September 7, 2011, 5:10 am

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