No matter how much you detest handling dirty linens and clothing, they are part and parcel of your daily routine. All the pieces of clothes, gym wear, dish towels, and bedsheets will eventually make their way into the washing machine. You cannot avoid this because dirt and dust can make them unsafe. Conversely, doing too much laundry harms the environment in many ways. Washing and drying machines run on electricity. The more loads you do, the more they will consume energy. They are also one of the five most energy-consuming household items. Then, chemical-laden detergents that mix in rivers and oceans threaten water wildlife. Plus, most of the microfibers released into the water systems mingle with the food chain that everyone eats. Do these sound scary? Let’s try some eco-friendly tricks.
Natural ingredient or plant-based laundry detergent
DIYers swear by vinegar, baking powder, and other such things. But it needs time to make your detergent. Most traditional liquid and powder versions are full of chemicals. So, what’s the next option? You can switch to laundry detergent sheets. Choosing a brand that uses natural ingredients that are gentle or less harsh can be best. Plant-based formulations can be better even though they may contain a specific biodegradable chemical. Studies show they don’t burden the ecosystem by lingering there. They dissolve. Since these mostly come in paper or cardboard packaging, you get rid of one-time-use plastic bottles, a large part of which stay in landfills and spoil the environment’s clean fabric. A zero-waste laundry strip can take care of this.
Cold water cycle
Using hot water for laundry loads means using high-energy sources. Some believe that cleaning blood stains in hot water may not help. The spot will stay. However, you can wash them in cold water to not find their traces. You get the same impact as the hot water cleaning. So, switch to cold water, which is more energy-efficient and lighter on your wallet.
Fill the machine with the number of clothes it can handle. One washer can accommodate clothes up to ¾ of its limit. Some appliances also provide provisions for tiny loads. They offer a quick wash option to avoid water and detergent wastage. This technique also works as effectively as the optimally loaded machine. Look at the sensor of your front-load washer to check the level.
Dry your clothes on the drying line to save energy. It can control pollution and carbon footprint. Hang drying is uncommon in North America as most houses use machine dryers. Canadians wash four loads a week, which can be 200 times a year. Dryers consume 5-10 times extra energy than washing machines. You can eliminate this by drying your clothes in the open or using alternatives like heat-pump dryers. These units heat up without much hard work. Smaller apartments come without outdoor space to dry laundry in the open. They can buy indoor racks.
These minor habitual changes carry a significant impact. Try them once! It’s all about your lifestyle decisions that reduce your carbon footprint and help this planet become healthy.