While a lot of us have been trying to reduce our use of plastic water bottles, coffee cups, single use bags or packaging, etc., it seems like certain things like cleaning supplies, skin care, and cosmetics inevitably come packaged in plastic. However, the times they are a changing, and it is becoming increasingly easy to find a diverse array of products that are manufactured and packaged without plastic. We’ll look at different products in weeks to come, but today, we are all about laundry!
Doing laundry has a big impact on the environment – here are some tips to help reduce that impact.
Wash less frequently: with the exception of workout clothes, clothing worn for work outdoors, or clothes that sticky toddler hands get ahold of, a lot of our clothes can be re-worn a few times between washings. Does this sound familiar – you wear something once, and then put it on a chair or bench (or Peloton bike, haha) with the intent to wear it again, but then the clothes pile up and fall on the floor, so you wind up throwing them in the wash, even though they are not dirty? By making an effort to be really deliberate about what actually needs to be washed, we can dramatically reduce the amount of energy and water we use, as well as the amount of chemicals that end up in the water supply.
Wash clothes in cold water / line dry when possible: 90% of the energy used to do laundry is used to heat the water used to wash clothes on warm or hot, or to heat the dryer. Washing clothes in cold water and / or line drying dramatically decreases the amount of energy usage. As an added bonus, line drying clothes helps to prolong their life. Anything with elastic in it is damaged by exposure to the heat, so line drying items like underwear, yoga pants, stretch jeans, leggings, will extend their life by years!
Avoid fabric softener: it has no benefit, and the added dyes and fragrances are very harmful to the environment.
Buy detergent that is not packaged in plastic, and is formulated with organic and natural ingredients: did you know that over 700 million plastic laundry jugs are disposed of every year in North America alone? Over at Sustainimals HQ, we recently switched to Tru Earth Detergent. Tru Earth is detergent that comes in zero-waste strips that are packaged in a plastic-free compostable sleeve. In addition to reducing plastic waste, Tru Earth detergent weighs 94% less than traditional detergent, which dramatically reduces the energy needed to transport it. Finally, Tru Earth is:
- Free of added dyes
- Free of chlorine bleach
- Free of 1,4-dioxane, as certified by independent laboratory tests
- Readily biodegradable in accordance with OECD 310D
- Hypoallergenic, certified by independent dermatologists
- Vegan: no animal-based ingredients or testing on animals by us or our ingredient suppliers
Sustainimals LLC is in no way affiliated with Tru Earth Detergent. We were not compensated for this post, nor were we gifted the product. We are just passionate about caring for the planet, and sharing info about products that help that cause!