Even things as simple as washing your clothes can create a huge impact on our environment. The power that washing machines and dryers use produce carbon dioxide that we know is harmful to the environment. On top of this detergents used when washing clothes contain chemicals which may remain behind within waste water as it is washed through our water system. But, even if it sounds like the negative effects of washing clothes outweigh the positive ones, it doesn’t entirely mean that we have have to have limited access to clean and fresh clothes!
Here are some sustainable and environmentally friendly things that you can do when washing your clothes.
- Lower your washing temperature! Many detergents nowadays work well with lower temperature settings. You can save about 40% on your electricity use if you switch from 40 to 30 degrees and you still get the same results!
- Wash in bulk! Don’t do small loads of washing but wait until you get a full load of laundry before washing it. Although it may sound like a huge job, it can save you a lot of power, detergent and water. If you can’t wait for it to be full, hand wash smaller washes.
- Never leave the machine on standby. This does not only apply to washing machines but to every appliance you own. Even on standby appliances continues to draw power so turn it off and unplug your washing machine and other appliances when not in use.
- Use a washing machine that has an energy saver feature. Look for the energy saving labels and do some research to identify recommended models. Energy efficiency not only lowers your energy consumption, but it also emits less carbon dioxide making them more eco-friendly.
- Replace chlorine bleach. Choose environment friendly detergents. As an alternative to bleach, you can use ½ cup of baking soda as an ordinary or eco-friendly detergent. It produces similar whitening and cleaning effects to your clothes. You can also try soaking your clothes overnight in a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 6 parts warm water. The sour odor of the vinegar will just evaporate and leave unnoticed. Another alternative is oxygen bleach. Although it works slower than chlorine bleach, it has gentler effects on your clothes and environment as well.
As much as we want to keep our clothes clean and fresh, we should not forget to protect our environment too. Utilise these environmentally friendly washing tips and see how far they go in saving you money and the environment.