Let's talk about the chore we all find ourselves doing quite frequently...laundry! No matter how often you do your laundry, dirty clothes seem to keep coming.
On average, American households wash approximately 300 loads of laundry per year. That is almost one load a day! Since this is a big part of our everyday lives, let's look at ways we can practice this chore sustainably.
Wash clothes less frequently.
Some clothes, like jeans, jackets, and sweaters, can be worn multiple times without having to be washed after each time. Reducing the number of times you wash certain clothing items helps you save on water and laundry detergent. If an item of clothing has a stain but can be washed later, try spot-treating the stain. Doing so can clear the stain without washing the whole piece of clothing.
Wash clothes with cold water.
Did you know that washing clothes with cold water is just as effective as washing them with hot water? Ninety percent of the energy washing machines use is to heat the water. Cold water also has its benefits when it comes to laundry. Washing with cold water avoids the shrinking of clothing, prevents color bleeding, and helps your clothes to last longer.
Fill your washing machine.
To maximize your laundry machine's efficiency, fill your laundry up around three-quarters full. Some washing machines allow you to choose a "load size selector" where it will match your laundry level and water.
Use mesh bags or filters.
Some of our synthetic clothing sheds microfibers as they are turned and squeezed in the washing machine. These microfibers are harmful to our environment and end up in our oceans and soils. To help combat these microfibers, you can add a filter to your washing machine to help catch the particles. Another tool you can use is to place your clothing in mesh bags to help avoid the particle from draining out of your machine.
Air dry when you can.
If you are not rushing for your clothes to be cleaned and dried, try hanging them to dry instead of putting them in your dryer. You will start saving energy and money as you air-dry some of your items!
Use sustainable laundry products.
Some of our laundry products contain harmful ingredients in oversized plastic packaging. Next time you go to buy your laundry detergent, first look at the ingredients you might have in your cupboard. Items like hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils can all be used as alternatives for laundry and stain remover solutions.
Since laundry is part of all our lives, let's work together to practice sustainable tactics that help our environment. By contributing some of these simple tips and tricks to your laundry routine, you will protect the environment and save some extra money.
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