As a professional organizer, we find dry cleaning bags to be irksome for a couple reasons. The environmental waste is obvious. But from a closet organizing perspective, we see a lot of clothes organizing systems break down when people bring home their dry cleaning...
One of the most user-friendly ways to organize your clothes is usually by category (e.g. shirts together, pants together etc.). For those who do a lot of dry cleaning, they bring home a batch of mixed category clothes, wrapped in one plastic hanging bag and usually people just toss that on the closet rod and the category system is rendered null and void.
Greenward, a great eco products store in Cambridge, is now selling a reusable dry cleaning bag which doubles as a hamper. While you're accumulating your dry cleaning stash, the bag is in hamper format. Then you bring the hamper to the dry cleaner and they revert it to the hanging bag format to protect your clothes in transit. When you get home, in order to start your hamper cycle all over again you must remove the clothes from the bag, and that's your chance to put them into the proper categories in your closet!
And it really is disheartening to see the amount of plastic bags that accumulate in people's closets from dry cleaning. The Greenward reusable bag/hamper is a simple way to reduce your impact. (Greenward also has an online shop and delivers by bicycle!) Of course, choosing clothes that don't need to be dry cleaned is the first step but that's not an option for everyone. Also, if you haven't already switched to a greener dry cleaning service, there are a number in the Boston area, including Clevergreen in Medford and Beacon Hill.
Most dry cleaners will also accept your returned wire hangers or you can drop them at a local Salvation Army or Goodwill for reuse.
How do you manage your dry cleaning? Any other greener dry cleaners in the Boston area that you'd recommend?