The electricity-free and low-water Drumi device could be one method of washing clothes without taking a huge toll on the environment.
If you'd rather dump a huge load of clothes into the washing machine, turn it on, and walk away, this device probably isn't for you, but if you're willing to put a little effort into washing your clothes, and only need to wash tiny loads, the Drumi could be a great asset to your home, whether you're on or off the grid. Megan covered the initial launch of this unique little clothes washer back in May, but now the Drumi team is actively seeking pre-orders and aims to deliver the units in the fall of 2016.
The Drumi is a manually-powered washing machine for small loads of laundry (~5 lb, or 2.26 kg), which requires just a fraction of the water of a traditional washer and a total of about 5 minutes per load. The small size (20" x 18" x 18"/50 x 45 x 50 cm) and light weight (20 lb/9 kg) makes it a perfect fit for small apartments, tiny houses, RVs, camping trips, or off-grid homes, and as a bonus, the wash and rinse water can easily be used for watering landscape plants.
Obviously, a 5 lb load of laundry isn't very much (estimated to be a single pair of jeans, or 6 t-shirts), so the Drumi isn't a replacement washing machine (though it could be, depending on how much laundry you need to do each day), but it could be a good addition to a home's laundry room for washing delicates or that one piece of clothing that never made it into the wash this week. And because it does require some elbow grease (well, actually knee grease, so to speak) to get clothes clean, it's not for
the lazy people who aren't willing to put in the effort to get clean laundry.
Here's the pitch:
"Discover a new way to wash your personal delicates. This design challenges the public laundry experience while also solving the common complications of hand-washing delicate garments. The Drumi creates a sustainable solution with low environmental impact, saving you time, energy, and money. It is not only more hygienic than public laundromats, but also a fraction of the time."
Currently, the Yirego Drumi team is looking to raise enough funding in pre-orders to bring this device to market, and a pledge of $229 will reserve a single unit for you, with orders expected to ship to backers in October of 2016. If you're all about the manually-powered clothes washer, but can't drop a few hundred bucks on the Drumi, you can always build this $10 DIY version.
More info on Yirego and the Drumi is available at the company's website.