If you live on this planet, then environmental issues unarguably concern you. Taking responsibility for the impact that our actions have over our ecosystem is everyone’s inescapable duty. Just as you are concerned about the adequate conditions of your home, you should care for the Earth’s livability. Unfortunately, many everyday activities have a negative influence on the environment. While new technological advances are slowly veering towards more eco-friendly methods, many regular appliances still prioritize speed and convenience over sustainability.
Studies show that washing clothes accounts for a large percentage of all residential carbon emissions in the United States. This is due to the electricity generated when heating the water and running the machine. Laundry also adds to a considerable portion of the average indoor water usage. But this does not mean that we have to revert to arduous scrubbing techniques. Here we explain some eco-friendly ways to do your laundry so that you can contribute to leaving the planet as clean as your clothes.
Go For Green Detergents
Many conventional detergents and commercial stain removers contain ingredients that not only are harmful to the environment but are also linked to health concerns in humans. These toxic products are also packaged in disposable containers, which adds to the plastic waste problem. Thus plastic ends up piling up in a landfill as detergents spread into our waterways. Chemicals such as phosphates, dyes, formaldehyde and sodium lauryl sulfate (to name a few) leaking into our rivers and oceans damage aquatic ecosystems and promote algae blooms that kill marine life and decrease the oxygen levels in the water.
At the moment, there are no regulations restricting laundry products from covering their labels with claims such as ‘natural’ or ‘green’. To avoid misleading information, you might have to do some research to identify the truly eco-friendly companies. Check for readily biodegradable, bleach and phosphate-free products made from plant and vegetable-based ingredients. These products will be gentler on the skin too. Avoid scents at all costs, as fragrances are produced by chemicals that have negative effects on the environment. You can replace fabric softeners and stain removers with white vinegar, simple and effective, and find other organic alternatives such as soap nuts. You can even consider making your own homemade laundry detergent. Many natural ingredients perform very well with cold water.
Buy in bulk to reduce the consumption of plastic, and do refills as much as possible. Or come to Sudz Laundry to use our eco-friendly products.
Do Efficient Loads
First of all, we want to demystify the idea that clothes need to be washed after every use. The truth is that washing your garments too often will diminish their longevity as well as contributing to microfiber pollution. Jeans, pajamas and woolen jumpers can be used a few times before dropping them into the washing machine, and some pieces can be freshened through aeration. Some items can be washed by hand while you wait for a load to pile up. For example, swimwear and delicate underwear last longer when washed by hand.
Running only full loads will save water and energy. Search for the closest laundromat to me, and it will lead you to our efficient, large capacity washers.
Use Cold Water
A huge percentage of the energy used by a washing machine goes into heating the water. Using cold water will significantly reduce the carbon emissions while also minimizing microplastic pollution as it does not break down your garments in the way hot water does. Cold water does a better job on stains and prevents clothes from shrinking, fading and wrinkling.
Yes, the labels in certain garments recommend washing them in warm water. But this is usually the case with synthetic fabrics, which you should try to avoid as they release microplastics into the water that are absorbed into the tissues of marine life. You would be surprised by the amount of fibers us humans end up ingesting. Natural fibers such as wool, bamboo, hemp and organic cotton are a better option, and you can even compost your lint tray.
Air-dried clothes benefit from the natural bleaching capacity of the sun and the refreshing ability of air. Dryers can be harsh on your clothes, accelerating their natural wear and tear. If you do not have the space to dry your clothes at home or you have special garments that require dry cleaning, come to Sudz Laundry, the closest laundromat to me. Our eco-friendly dry cleaning services do not use any chemicals known to be harmful to the environment or linked to health issues, as opposed to most commercial dry cleaners.
Most efforts to reduce our environmental impact will only show their results in the long term. It takes time to change a paradigm, and only with commited consistency will we elevate to a fully sustainable philosophy. At Sudz Laundry we care about removing stains from your clothes and from the planet. Collaborate with us and your fellow citizens by following the above tips to upgrade to a greener mindset. Come to our laundromat with wifi to continue researching eco-friendly practices while we take care of your apparel and your wellbeing.