There are lots of things that we can do to reduce our impact on the environment, and we tend to do the obvious things like recycling and perhaps buying organic food. But what about your laundry routine?
There are some very simple things you can do when washing your whites and colors that can help you go green. Here's a short list to get you started!
3 Tips for a green laundry
Wear it one more time
It doesn't go for everything (unmentionables and socks come to mind), but the simplest way to cut back on your laundry's impact is … (drumroll, please) just do less of it! Wearing your clothes more than once before tossing them in the dirty pile is the first step in greening your laundry habits.
Did you know you can consume up to five times less energy by wearing your jeans at least three times, washing them in cold water, and skipping the dryer or the iron?
Use green laundry detergent
Conventional detergents can contain ingredients that aren't good for you, your clothes, or aquatic ecosystems where the dirty water we wash down the drain can end up. Phosphates in conventional laundry soaps can cause algal blooms that negatively effect ecosystems and marine life.
To shop for more eco-friendly detergents, look for labels that indicate a product is readily biodegradable and phosphate-free, and made from plant- and vegetable-based ingredients (instead of petroleum-based), which means they're healthier for the planet, from production to rinse cycle. These are often gentler on skin, too.
Other alternatives include soap nuts, which are made from certain tree seeds, produce a soapy substance when they come in contact with water, and can be composted after being used up. (A liquid version is available, too.)
Fabric softeners, by the way, can be replaced by a cup of white vinegar added to the washer during the rinse cycle. Vinegar naturally balances the pH of soap, leaving your clothes soft and free of chemical residue.
Hang it out to dry
There are upward of 88 million dryers in the U.S., each emitting more than a ton of carbon dioxide per year. Because dryers uses so much energy, skipping it altogether can make a real difference.
Added bonus? Clothes last longer when you line dry because there's less wear and tear than when you use the dryer.
Want to be greener? Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, think of new ways of helping our environment, to reduce water and energy consumption and to avoid generating more waste = pollution.