Useful Eco-Friendly Laundry Tips
When you do laundry, you use a substantial amount of water and energy. Simultaneously, you also release a pile of pollutants into the environment. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can make this process more eco-friendly. Check out this article for a few useful tips on how to make a difference in how your laundry routine affects the environment.
According to Energy Star, the average household does almost 400 loads of laundry each year and consumes about 13,500 gallons of water. According to another study, washing and drying clothes in the average American household is responsible for consuming 1,991 kWh of electricity and releasing 1 metric ton of CO2-e emissions in a year. This takes a toll on the environment. Luckily, there are a few ways you can incorporate green-living into your laundry process. To get you started, we’ve gathered some tips that will help you reduce the impact your loads have on the planet.
Only do Full Loads #
Washing full loads saves water, energy and time. Keep in mind that even the most energy-efficient washers use on average 40 gallons of water per load, so don’t waste it on two shirts and pair of jeans. Additionally, only wash clothes that are dirty. This way, not only will you be more environmentally conscious, but your clothes will last longer, as well.
Buy a New Washing Machine #
If you’ve been using your washing machine for several years, it may be time to upgrade it to a more energy-efficient model. Switching to a high-efficiency washer can cut water consumption by half or even more, depending on the model you choose. Furthermore, you’ll also save energy. Most of the energy expended washing clothes is used to heat the water. If your washing machine uses less water, you’ll use less energy, as well. The same goes for your dryer – if you’re in a market for a new one, choosing an energy-efficient model will lower your energy bill and carbon footprint at the same time.
Lower The Temperature #
Lower the temperature of the water your washing machine uses to save energy in the laundry room. This can be a big adjustment, but you can still get clean clothes after making the switch. There are plenty of cold water cleaning options on the market to choose from, which are just as effective as hot-water detergents. Experiment washing with cold water at least once or twice per billing period. When you receive your energy bill, you’ll be surprised with the amount of money and energy you’ll have saved.
Use Safe Detergent #
If you want to be more environmentally-conscious, a big step is to start paying attention to what you’re buying. This rule applies when shopping for detergent, as well. Opt for natural products, usually plant-based. Their ingredients are non-toxic, biodegradable and safe. Additionally, they’re often specifically formulated to perform well in cold water. Look for special certifications like Green Seal when you shop to make sure that the product truly is green.
Use Natural Treatments For Tough Stains #
Skip commercial stain removers, since they often contain harmful ingredients for the environment. Instead, buy green spot treatments or try some home-made solutions, like applying lime and salt on the stain. You can find an extremely useful natural stain treatment reference sheet here.
Line Dry #
The sun and wind are very effective when it comes to drying clothes, so skip turning on the dryer whenever possible. Use clotheslines and drying racks to dry out your laundry and you’ll save a great amount of energy each month.
Green Dry Cleaners #
Dry cleaning may seem like a harmless and convenient operation. In reality, the chemicals used during the process are dangerous to the environment and can have negative effects on your health. It’s better to avoid it. If you can’t hand wash a certain item and must dry clean it, take it to a green dry cleaner.
Do more than simply switching to eco-friendly bags when grocery shopping. It’s our responsibility to do more when it comes to conserving energy, water, and natural resources. As you can see, laundry doesn’t have to be so detrimental to the environment. By using the tips above, you’ll reduce your energy consumption, save some cash, and have a more positive impact on the planet, all at once.