Eco-Friendly Ways To Do Your Laundry
Doing laundry, especially if you have a growing family, is one of those things that you are going to have to do so frequently that it can have a huge negative effect on the environment.
Washers and dryers account for a significant part of water and energy use in a household. On average, families go through eight loads of laundry every week. This requires a lot of water and energy.
At Jack and Bo, we care deeply about the environment. In fact, with the support of our customers, we have planted over 10,000 trees so far! Since we are a baby apparel store, it’s only right that we showed you the most eco-friendly way to do your laundry, right? Well, the good news is that there are sustainable ways of washing and drying your laundry. This guide will show you how to shrink your environmental footprint by doing your laundry sustainably.
1. Use An Energy-Efficient Washing Machine
One way of doing your laundry in an eco-friendly way is to use an efficient washing machine. A high-efficiency washing machine uses less than half the amount of water used by conventional washers. A conventional top loader washing machine uses as much as 54 gallons of water. Efficient washers, on the other hand, use as little as seven gallons.
High-efficiency washing machines are also energy efficient. Since they require less water, less electricity is used to warm the water, especially if you are doing warm or hot loads. They also leave your clothes dryer, thus saving you the time and energy that would have been used to dry the clothes.
These machines are also gentler on clothes, ensuring that your clothes last longer. And while energy-efficient washing machines may be more expensive than conventional washing machines, they’ll end up saving you money in the long run.
2. Wash Less Often
Another way of doing your laundry sustainably would be to do it less often. You don’t have to wash all types of clothing after only one wear. If the clothing looks and smells clean, you can go a little longer between washes. This will save you both water and energy. It will also save you the time that would otherwise have been spent washing clean clothes.
In addition, you should limit the laundry days to once a week. You don’t need to do laundry every day. Also, only run full loads to save on energy and water. You should also get a high-efficiency washing machine with a larger capacity. This will enable you to wash fewer loads overall, saving you water, time, and energy.
3. Use Cold Water
You should also make a point to use cold water when doing laundry. This will enable you to save the energy used to clean your clothes. Doing laundry using warm or hot water settings uses up to 90% more energy than what is used when laundry is done using cold water settings. If many people used cold water instead of hot, a lot of energy would be saved and millions of tons of carbon emissions would be slashed. It would also save you a lot of money that would have been spent on electricity bills.
4. Avoid Harmful Chemicals
Most detergents, soaps, stain removers, and dryer sheets contain synthetic chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Accumulation of these contaminants in the environment has been linked to numerous health concerns such as developmental issues and endocrine disruption.
Luckily, there are plenty of non-toxic alternatives you can use to do your laundry. You should switch from conventional detergents and stain removers to plant-based detergents and oxygen-based brighteners. You can also use white vinegar, which is an effective stain remover and fabric softener.
5. Line-Dry Clothes
Clothes dryers consume a ridiculous amount of energy. They are second only to fridges in household energy consumption. As such, you should find alternative methods to dry your clothes to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Hanging your clothes out to dry in the sun is the best alternative. Switching to line-dry clothes will save a lot of energy in your household. During winter, you can hang the clothes inside to dry. However, you should ensure that there is enough ventilation to prevent the moisture levels from rising, which promotes the growth of mold.
Alternatively, you could hang the clothes close to a wood-burning stove. This will help the clothes to dry faster. It will also add heat and humidity to the dry and cold winter air.
5. Go For Natural Clothing Fibers
You should also go for clothes with natural fibers instead of those made with synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers such as nylon, fleece, polyester, and acrylic release millions of microplastic into the water when washed. The microplastics then find their way into our oceans where they are ingested by marine life. This is harmful to both the marine life and the animals that eat them, including humans.
By switching to natural fibers such as wool, cotton, silk, and hemp, among other natural fibers, you’ll be helping to reduce the microplastics being released into our water systems.
Doing laundry is often a weekly event, if not done more frequently. A few tweaks to your laundry habits can go a long way in making the process kinder to the environment.