Implement these tips to reduce water/energy consumption, reduce the use of harmful chemicals, and make your clothes last longer!
Doing your laundry can have a larger impact on the planet than you might think. It takes a lot of water and energy to run wash/dry cycles in a machine. So there's big potential to improve your environmental footprint by reducing your water and energy use by just implementing a greener laundry routine. Having an eco-friendly routine is gonna be of benefit to your wallet, your clothing, and our planet.
Continue reading for our 10 tips for making your laundry routine eco-friendlier.
1. Use An Energy Efficient Washing Machine
If you have one of those older top-loading washing machines, chances are that your machine is using about twice as much water as the newer front-loading washing machines. Also look for the Energy Star logo on your machine to know that it does in fact use less energy. If you're not quite ready to replace your machine, read on for more tips.
2. Wash Less Often & Wear More Between Washes
Now obviously this doesn't apply for everything but one of the simplest ways to cut back on your laundry is to just do less of it! Ask yourself before throwing those pants or shirts in the washer, can these be worn again? Are these actually dirty or do they just need some freshening up? Washing garments (such as jeans) too often can actually be damaging to the the garment too!
3. Use Cold Water
A LARGE majority of energy used in the washing process is actually used to heat the water. By opting to use cold water, you could be using up to 90% less energy! More and more detergents now are becoming specialized for washing in cold water so you won't need to worry about you clothes coming out still dirty.
4. Avoid Harmful Chemicals By Using A 'Green' Laundry Detergent Or Make Your Own!
A lot of detergents contain chemicals that are harmful to yourself, your clothes, and the marine ecosystems the water ends up in. When looking for a more eco-friendly laundry detergent, look for labels that indicate the detergent is bio-degradable, phosphate free, and made from plant/vegetable based ingredients. These detergents are much healthier for the planet as well as your skin! Fabric Softeners you can replace by using Vinegar! Vinegar balances the PH of soap to leave your clothes super soft and chemical residue free.
Making your own laundry detergent at home can actually be the greenest way to go. You only need a hand full of ingredients which can all be easily found at most grocery stores. You'll know exactly what's going into your detergent and you can customize it by adding your favourite smelling essential oils.
5. Hang Dry Clothes Or Use Dryer Balls To Reduce Energy Consumption
Dryers use so much energy. Avoiding them all together can make a real difference! Hang drying your clothes will also make them last longer! There will be less wear and tear caused by the dryer and you won't need to worry about your clothes shrinking!
6. Choose Clothing Made From Natural Fibres
A lot of people forget that the clothing itself has an impact on your laundry routine. Clothing made from synthetic fibres contain tiny microplastics that shed once washed and ultimately ending up in our oceans. Opt for clothes made from natural fibres such as organic cotton or hemp to reduce plastic pollution.
7. Skip The Dry Cleaners
Most dry cleaning businesses use a chemical called perchloroethylene (or "perc" for short) which has been shown to be dangerous to our health. Exposure to this chemical has been linked to increased risks of bladder, esophageal, and cervical cancer; eye, nose, throat and skin irritation; and reduced fertility; among other effects! If you want to eliminate the need for dry cleaning, simply choose to purchase clothing that doesn't require it (Read the care labels!). For those items that do require dry cleaning, do some research to find out if there is a dry cleaner in your area that doesn't use perc. Greener dry cleaners are slowly becoming more common.
8. Always Put In A Full Load
By putting in full loads of laundry, you're ensuring your machine is operating at maximum efficiency. If you can't manage to make a full load, see if your washing machine has a selector for smaller load sizes ensuring you use less water for your load size. The same applies with your dryer!
9. Follow The Care Labels On Your Clothing
The care labels are there for a reason, so follow them! Following the proper care instructions is gonna keep your garments looking fresh and lasting longer.
10. Wash Garments Inside Out
Washing your garments inside out will help to protect their colour and shape, keeping them looking the way you want them and ultimately lasting longer in your wardrobe.