We all have to do laundry. It’s one of the few things we all have in common. How you do your laundry can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint. Here are five steps to making your laundry routine greener.
Green laundry routine
There are many ways that your laundry can affect the environment. Laundry requires electricity, detergents, and water. Try to minimize each whenever you can for a greener laundry routine. Start by cutting back on the number of times that you do laundry.
Do less laundry
The best way to cut back on cleaning and softening agents, plus minimize water and electricity, is to do less laundry. By only wearing some clothing more than once between washing will greatly reduce the number of times you have to do laundry. We’re not saying you have to wear dirty clothes or sweaty clothes, but there are plenty of times when we drop a pair of pants, shirts, or sweaters in the laundry even though they’re perfectly fine to wear one more time. Before you throw something in the wash, ask yourself if it’s really necessary or if it can wait.
Only do full loads
Waiting to wash clothing will also force you to do fuller loads of laundry. You’re wasting a lot of water and energy by doing half or small loads. The water and electricity you save by only doing full loads will make a big difference, for the planet and your utility bills.
Wash in cold water
Most of the energy you use doing laundry is used to heat the water. Cold water is also, more gentle on your clothes. Treat some of your loads to cold water and save energy. Save the hot water for items that need a deep cleanse, like towels and sheets.
Use Non-toxic detergents
You’re not going to use heavy toxic chemicals to wash your body, so why would you use them to clean your clothing? Look for detergents that are environmentally safe and use natural ingredients. The more toxins we can eliminate from our daily lives, whether it’s our laundry detergent or our shampoo, the better for us and the better for our planet.
On the other hand, make up the energy you use washing your sheets in hot water by air drying. There’s nothing like fresh, air dried sheets on your bed. The more you airdry, the more energy you save. Airdrying will also eliminate one of the most toxic elements of our normal laundry routine, fabric softeners. Eliminate toxic fabric softeners for natural products to keep your sheets, clothes, and towels soft.
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