Laundry is something many people consider to be an endless chore. Because it is something that is necessary, it's a good idea to find ways to make it less harmful to the environment. Many people don't realize the impact this practice has on the planet. It uses a great deal of water, along with energy. By changing a few habits, you can make a difference in your own personal environmental footprint. Keep reading to discover seven eco-friendly considerations when doing laundry.
1. Wear It Multiple Times
One of the best eco-friendly laundry tips has nothing to do with the actual practice of laundry, but it can go quite far toward energy savings over time. Wearing things such as pants two to three times before washing them can truly add up.
2. Look for Eco-Friendly Detergent
Conventional laundry detergent can be hazardous to the environment. For example, common ingredients like phosphates can stimulate algae blooms that are bad for water ecosystems and organisms. Eco-friendly detergents will be plant or vegetable-based. Their labels may indicate that they are free of phosphates or readily biodegradable. You may also want to look for concentrated detergents because they use less packaging.
3. Make Your Own Laundry Products
You can even make your own laundry detergent with ingredients that are natural and more sustainable than commercial varieties. You can customize the scents and ingredients to your liking, and the process can serve as a creative outlet that is relaxing and enjoyable. In addition, there's real peace of mind to know exactly what is in your laundry products.
4. Use Efficiency Laundry Practices
Using an eco-friendly washer and dryer is an effective way to save energy over time, but buying new front-loading machines with the Energy Star symbol may not be in your budget right now. If this is the case, there are some changes you can make in your laundry routine to make things more eco-friendly over time. Heating the water requires significant energy use, so try using cold water for most loads. In addition, full loads are the most efficient. When doing smaller loads, choose the correct size selection on your machine in order to use less water.
5. Skip the Dry Cleaning
Professional dry-cleaning uses chemicals that are bad for both the environment and our health, so cutting back or eliminating this process in your laundry routine is a great idea. Consider buying clothing that doesn't need to be dry cleaned. There are also a variety of ways to safely wash many delicate fabrics at home. It's okay if you can't skip dry cleaning completely, but cutting back is a good start. Some modern dry cleaners are switching to less hazardous chemicals, so you might want to look for those who advertise themselves as more eco-friendly. In addition, professional wet cleaning is an alternative to consider. This method uses mild detergents and efficient computer-controlled equipment.
6. Hang Clothing to Dry
Dryers put out lots of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. You can do your small part to reduce this volume by hanging your clothes out to dry in nice weather. Many people enjoy the fresh scent of clothes that come right off the line. Plus, line drying puts your clothing items through less wear and tear, meaning they'll last you for longer periods of time. You'll save money on your utility bill and on buying new clothes.
7. Go to the Laundromat
Commercial laundry equipment is often much more energy-efficient than the appliances you're using at home. That makes heading out to the laundromat an excellent choice for those wishing to be more environmentally friendly. Going to the laundromat can be a social experience when you gather a friend or two to go with you. You may even meet new folks during your weekly trip. Depending on your lifestyle, this alternative to doing your laundry at home might not be much of an inconvenience at all.
Keep these ideas in mind if you're trying to be more eco-friendly. These sustainable laundry practices can add up to a great deal of energy savings while using products that are safe for the environment. Individual citizens can do their part in a variety of ways to save our planet one choice at a time.
Written by Lizzie Howard
About the Author
Lizzie Howard is a Colorado native who after graduating from the University of Colorado spends her time as a freelance writer. When Lizzie isn’t writing, she enjoys going on hikes, baking for her friends and family, and spending time with her beloved yellow lab, Sparky.
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