Laundry is a time and an energy consuming activity that contributes to the CO2 emissions of the environment.
Here is what doing laundry does to the environment:
- Chemicals from liquids (detergents/softeners) used in the laundry are released into the environment as wastewater; greatly affecting the ecosystems.
- Phosphates in detergent can contaminate fresh water and cause harm to humans.
- 700,000 microplastic fibres are released into the ocean, every time you wash; causing harm to marine life.
- One normal cycle on the washing machine typically uses up to 30 gallons of water, which then converts into wastewater.
- High temperature washes can cause an increase of CO2 emissions by 1.2-14.9 pounds per laundry load.
Here are some of the things you can do, to have a more sustainable laundry operation:
Wash only when you need to: Reduce the number of loads you do per week and wash only when you absolutely need to. This can be done by wearing your outerwear clothes more often than once. By doing this, you’ll save a whole lot of energy, water and money!
Wash on colder cycles: Did you know that about 90% of the energy used in the washing machine is used to heat up water for hot washes? Washing on a colder cycle completely reduces the energy needed to heat up the water.
Use green laundry detergent: Conventional detergents may contain harmful ingredients (phosphates) that aren’t good for your skin and can affect the aquatic ecosystems and marine life in a negative way. Look for detergents that are biodegradable, are phosphate-free, and are plant based products. These indicate that they’re environmentally friendly as well as kind to the skin.
Also, why not go for concentrated detergent? They have reduced packaging and reduce carbon footprint.
You can also make your own detergent! What better way for eco-friendly laundry than with homemade detergent?!
Wash by hand: The ancient way of washing clothes means less consumption of water and energy! Yes, it may be time consuming but it is a good work out.
Natural air dry: Tumble drying contributes to 75% of the carbon footprint. Drying naturally uses no energy whatsoever, so if it’s a lovely sunny day, make the most of it and dry your clothes outside, if not, then dry them in your home. Only use the dryer when you need to wear your clothes right away.
Using Laundry services: Sounds a little unusual but commercial washers and dryers tend to be more efficient than domestic versions because they’re bigger and can take more kg. This means lessening the number of loads, energy and water consumption you would use at home.