We all love the scent and feel of freshly washed laundry straight out of the dryer. But did you know that each load of laundry you do comes at a cost to the environment? In fact, washing machines use about 19 billion cubic metres of water each year, and emit about 62 million tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. Doing the laundry just three times per week can lead to 400 litres of water waste – that’s a lot of water!
With this in mind, it’s important to make easy swaps that can make doing the laundry more efficient and less harmful to the environment. Here are 10 tips for making laundry day more eco-friendly.
Wash Clothes Less Frequently
One of the easiest ways to make doing laundry less harmful to the environment? Do it less frequently! Aim to wash your clothes less often if possible by wearing jeans, pullovers and jackets for longer before tossing them in the laundry.
Smol Laundry Capsules
These small-but-mighty concentrated laundry capsules are revolutionizing the way we do laundry. Sustainably packaged with 100 per cent plastic-free packaging, cruelty-free ingredients and fewer chemicals, smol laundry capsules pack a mean punch while being kind to the environment.
Tru Earth Laundry Strips
Ultra-convenient Tru Earth eco-strips make doing laundry a breeze. Not only are they paraben-free, cruelty-free and suitable for all washing machines, but the strips also help to keep 700,000,000 plastic jugs out of landfills every year!
Live for Tomorrow Unscented Laundry Detergent
Hypoallergenic, biodegradable and fully vegan, Live For Tomorrow unscented laundry detergent is another eco-friendly option that will be gentle on your skin and the earth. The detergent is coconut based yet unscented, making it the perfect option for anyone who is sensitive to scents.
DIY Laundry Detergent
Alternatively, you could always get crafty and make your own laundry detergent. DIY laundry detergent is relatively easy to make, featuring only a few simple ingredients like borax, washing soda and soap flakes. Not only will it help you rest easy knowing exactly what’s in it, but homemade laundry detergent is also generally cheaper and more eco-friendly than store-bought.
Ditch the Dryer
In most households, the dryer is one of the biggest drains on energy, after the fridge and washer. Cut back on costs and energy by foregoing the dryer in favour of air drying your clothes – you could reduce your carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds per year!
Wash With a Cold Cycle
Did you know that a whopping 90 per cent of the energy used during the average load of laundry goes toward heating up the water? Just by switching to cold water each time you do laundry, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint with no harm done to your clothes – in fact, most delicates and darker-coloured clothing actually do best in cold water.
Try a Refillery
Heading to your local refillery for a refill on laundry detergent, soap or any other household cleaning item can be an easy, convenient and low-cost alternative to buying a net-new bottle each time you run out. Plus, it will give you a chance to ditch the plastic packaging and instead opt for a chic container like this Cleancult refillable glass detergent bottle.
Use Natural Stain Removers
Instead of using harmful stain removers laden with chemicals, why not try making your own natural alternative? For example, keeping white vinegar close by in your laundry room can be a clever way to remove stains in a pinch without added plastic or chemicals.
Avoid Overfilling or Underfilling the Machine
Another easy way to make laundry day more eco-friendly is to ensure the size of each load isn’t too big or too small but just right – usually about three quarters of the way full, to be exact. This way, your machine will be operating at max efficiency without wasting more water than necessary.