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Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.-based Soft By Nature is pointing to clothes dryers as real energy hogs and pointing to its own Woolzies as an energy-saving idea.
The company has launched Woolzies, an all-natural fabric softener for use in dryers. Neither a dryer sheet nor a liquid, Woolzies are New Zealand wool dryer balls that soften laundry naturally, without any of the chemicals found in conventional fabric softeners.
The products sell for about $35 for a package of six Woolzies balls -- and they last for hundreds of loads, according to the company.
Woolzies work by bouncing around in the dryer, naturally separating and creating space between laundry and allowing the hot dryer air to circulate better. This cuts down on drying time by about 25% in large loads and as much as 35% to 40% in small loads.
Located in Southern New York State, Woolzies' parent company, Soft By Nature, is a small family-owned firm whose mission is "to pass the earth down to the next generation in as pristine a condition as possible," according to a press release. As it happens, noted Soft By Nature, using Woolzies isn't only a boon to the environment and to one's budget and personal health, but also to people in the developing world. As Woolzies are handmade in the democratic republic of Nepal, they provide a steady source of income to the desperately needy women of that developing nation.