The Farmington Area Mom's Club general meeting this month was centered around "green" and how we can be kinder to our environment. Turns out that my county, Oakland County, Michigan, has one of the worst pollution records in the country. :-( Tom and I do our best to lessen our footprints on the environment by doing heavy recycling, using more cloth rags and bags instead of paper towels and plastic bags, composting 100% of our yard waste and kitchen scraps, buying clothes and toys from garage sales and Mom 2 Mom sales as often as possible, and, of course, by diapering with cloth diapers.
Charlie's Soap makes a terrific laundry powder that cleans efficiency and is 100% biodegradable--much more friendly for the environment. It is also cheaper than the dye-free and scent-free laundry detergents I have been using for years now. Plus, they shipped it to me for free. One Tablespoon cleans an entire washload of diapers--that's 2 days' worth of poopie, soaked diapers from a newborn AND a toddler. I still do a pre-rinse cycle of cold water with about 1/4 cup of white vinegar in my diaper washes, then I switch to a hot water/cold rinse cycle with only a Tablespoon of this stuff. Many cloth diaper websites and retailers recommend it, especially the businesses that sell only organic diapers and supplies, such as Green Mountain Diapers.
It really works! I do all of our laundry with it, it is supposed to be safe for all fabrics, even silk (though I admit, I haven't worn a silk blouse for a while now, what with maternity clothes and now baby spit-up to deal with. When I wear my silk blouses again, I will wash them in Charlie's Soap and let you all know how it went...but I'm a mother of two small munchkins, don't hold your breath, it'll be a while.)
Do consider giving Charlie's Soap a shot, even if you don't use cloth diapers. You really have nothing to loose, and the environment will be all the better for it.