From the energy it takes, water it uses, and the products you put into it, laundry can do some damage on your carbon footprint. However, with these tips you can cut your laundry impact down immensely.
Here are the ways that I reduce my waste while doing laundry:
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1: Only do laundry when you have a full load
By maximizing the space in your washing machine, you will waste less water. Your washing machine uses the same amount of water no matter how much clothes you put in so load ‘er up!
2: Wash on a cold water setting
90% of your energy in the laundry process is utilized in heating up the water. So, minimize this by washing on cold or warm. The only time I feel warm or hot needs to be used is while washing clothes that is really dirty or stinky. Otherwise, the cold setting gets the job done!
3: Use sustainable laundry detergent
Normal laundry detergent is loaded with chemicals that can leach into your water system and break down your clothes faster. I use Indigo Wild’s ZUM Clean soap (here is my review of it). They do not call it a detergent because it is alllll naturrral. I love it. It smells delicious (I use Rosemary Mint) and is super concentrated so I only need about a teaspoon in an entire load. Here is a link to give it a try!
4: Air dry when possible
Somedays, you need your laundry pronto and you can’t wait for it to air dry. But on the days that you don’t need your clothes dry immediately, try to hang them to dry. I have a simple drying rack that folds down and gets tossed in a closet on days when I’m not using it. It works great and reduces the energy it takes to heat up my dryer and power dry all my clothes. PLUS! It’ll make your clothes last much longer because no fibers are being burnt. Woo!
You don’t need anything too fancy to hang dry your clothes- hangers and an open area, non-wooden banister, paracord, anything will do! But I use this drying rack and I have no problems!
5: Use dryer balls and essential oils when you do use the dryer
Dryer balls are made of wool and last up to 1000 loads of laundry. You use them in place of dryer sheets. They take out the static and make your laundry softer after you take them out. I use these organic wool dryer balls in my laundry.
You can put a few drops of essential oils on each ball if you want an added scent to your clothes. I love how natural the essential oils make my clothes smell. None of this “Ocean Mist” or “Mountain Breeze” bull, just lovely essential oils of your choice.
6: When you are up for a new washing machine look for Energy Star
Energy Star washers use half of the water and 30% less energy than normal washers! Invest in the good stuff once your old stuff goes. However, I have heard of people finding second-hand washers and dryers- and nothing is made like it used to be!
I hope these 6 tips help you have a lower waste, sustainable laundry routine! If you have any questions, comment them below!
Here are some additional posts to a more sustainable lifestyle:
The 5 Big Swaps to Start Your Low Waste Journey
How to Create Less Waste On-The-Go
21 Sustainable Lifestyle Swaps That Save You Money!