Tips from the Green Girl
How to Be Environmentally Conscious in Your Everyday Life
Sarah Banzhof, 07-23-2018

Stephen Mulé
Sarah Banzhof is a Cuyahoga Falls resident and the owner of The Natural Body, a Falls-based company that sells natural beauty product alternatives that are free of parabens, silicones, sulfates, and harsh chemicals. She also runs a Facebook group dedicated to “living life and learning from one another how to lessen our carbon footprint, be kinder to Mother Earth, and make small (or large) changes for the greater good of our inhabited planet.” She offers environmentally friendly tips in this regular column for our readers.

Hello from your city Green Girl! This edition of “Tips from the Green Girl” is about conventional dryer sheets and why we should stop using them—for our health and for the health of our Earth.

One of the easiest and first “green” switches that I did a while back was ridding my house of dryer sheets. These little suckers are chock-full of toxins that have been linked to neurological disorders. The chemicals infiltrate the clothes we wear, get on our skin, and are then absorbed by the body. A research neurologist once told me that environmental toxins like pesticides, herbicides, pollutants, chemicals, and heavy metals contribute to dementia, and we should avoid them when at all possible. This doesn’t sit well with me, and neither does the fact that there is no law in place that requires companies to put an ingredients/chemicals list on the packaging of dryer sheets!

Dryer sheets are also single-use—never a good indicator of sustainability. Also, chemicals from dryer sheets build up and clog a dryer's lint screen, making it a lot less efficient. These sheets are totally unnecessary for actually making our clothes cleaner, so they're an easily preventable source of exposure to toxic chemicals.

So is there an eco-friendly solution? Yes! Let me introduce you to wool dryer balls, my friends! Dryer balls do not contain toxic chemicals, they last for thousands of loads and get rid of static cling and wrinkles, plus they soften clothes and save time and energy by cutting down on drying time! An alternative is to throw an old wool sweater in with your laundry to decrease drying time and reduce static. Plastic dryer balls have been marketed as another option, but it’s not exactly clear what could leech out of the plastic when exposed to high dryer heat, so I do not recommend them.

You can purchase your own wool dryer balls at just about any store—and I’d recommend getting 100% organic wool—but you could also go one step further and make your own. There are plenty of great tutorials online, and it requires no special skills! I like to apply 3-4 drops of essential oils (such as mandarin or lavender) every so often to add a great, all natural scent.

Each small step we take towards making this Earth a little less "throw away" is a step in the right direction! Tell your friends!

Join Sarah's Facebook group, Treehugging Green Girl, by requesting to join at You can also check out The Natural Body on Facebook at

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