Dryer Balls - How I purchased them as eco friendly as humanly possible

Hey all!

I have been on a zero waste journey for a few years now. Yes it does take some work. No, it’s not as easy as it looks. However, I’m getting better at it and becoming more creative which is helping quite a bit.

Now to get to the real subject of my post… balls! Dryer balls. I have been considering getting wool dryer balls for awhile now. It’s a bit ironic that today is the day, because my dryer has been broken for over a week and the repair person isn’t coming for another week (at least)!

 
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The last few trips I’ve taken to the fabric store to get items to complete my Christmas gifts, I’ve taken a gander at the yarn section. Yarn that is 100% wool is kind of expensive. Besides price, there are some things to take into consideration when deciding to make a purchase if you want to truly give the earth a *hug*. This is my list - I’m sure there are others.

  1. Is it ethically sourced?

  2. How far did it need to travel to get to you?

  3. Can I get this used?

Again, there are others, but these came to my mind immediately. So, today I was taking a look at the Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone was selling 100% wool yarn. I was planning on just making some dryer balls on my own. There were some that were imported from different countries, which seemed extravagant. There were others that were whole lots of yarn with only a few being wool… then I saw someone selling actual wool dryer balls! What? $15 for 3 and that included shipping. I read a bit further and noticed that they weren’t made from purchased yarn, they were made directly from this woman’s sheep! Isn’t there a saying.. “straight from the horses mouth” Well, I thought that straight from a sheep (or a few sheep?) that lived in a neighboring state was pretty darn ethically sourced! How much better could it get? I will tell you.

I reached out to see exactly where they are located and learned that their store is right off the interstate, only 3 minutes from I 94. It is called Allen Creek Shetlands and Country Store, if you are so inclined to get your own. Her store is just under a 2 hour drive from me. Obviously, it would be silly to make a trip out there just for dryer balls (and not very environmentally friendly), so I thought I could just grab them the next time we headed East for an adventure or to visit family. WAIT! I just remembered our neighbors are currently in Wisconsin visiting family! ‘I wonder how close they are to Black River Falls?’ I messaged them. Apparently they aren’t close at all, however they will drive right by it on the way home… AND she has totally been wanting to try out some wool dryer balls as well! Score!

So…

  • No one is going out of their way to use extra gas to pick up the item, or to ship the item

  • My neighbors (and friends) are picking them up on the way home, using the gas that they would be using anyway

  • They are made directly from the sheep (and alpaca) owned by a family in Wisconsin

  • They are made from rovings, and in most cases from fibers that they don’t use for yarn

  • Also, they are the cheapest dryer balls I’ve seen anywhere!

Allen Creek Country Store Alpaca Photo

Allen Creek Country Store Alpaca Photo

Lori (from Allen Creek Store) even sent a nice little note about the dryer balls, how to use them and I guess they are wool AND alpaca (aren’t they cute!)! I asked my neighbor to get me one of each color so I can have all the sheep (and alpaca).

For those of you who might be new to the concept of dryer balls, they can replace dryer sheets. I have never personally been a fan of dryer sheets. I don’t like the chemical-ly smell they have and they do really strange things to peoples towels and sheets. I can always tell when I’m in a house that uses dryer sheets. I don’t think my skin is a fan of them either, so I have just opted out of doing anything. The dryer balls can help with all sorts of things, such as:

  1. eliminating the use of dryer sheets (which have lots of chemicals and artificial fragrances)

  2. reducing static

  3. reducing dry time (yay $$, yay environment)

  4. essential oils can be added to give your laundry a nice fresh scent!

  5. When they become warn out, just throw them in the compost!

If you would like to try out these dryer balls (and you don’t live nearby), I know that they will ship them to you for a very inexpensive shipping cost. Here is their information:

Allen Creek County Store

715-284-5057

scharlau@centurytel.net

The store is often open on the weekends, but be sure to call ahead if you plan to stop by!

 
Photo credit: Allen Creek Country Store FB page

Photo credit: Allen Creek Country Store FB page

 

Zero waste life is not always this easy. However, if you think out of the box and really use that left brain, you will probably come up with some environmentally friendly alternatives to all sorts of things!

Thanks for reading!

Susan

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<<< This is my attempt at instagram dryer ball artwork!