If you are looking for ways to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle it can be pretty daunting figuring out where to begin. A good place to start is with your laundry! By following some eco-friendly laundry practices you'll not only be reducing your impact on the environment but in many cases, you'll also lower your energy costs! Although not exhaustive, we've put together a list of laundry tips to help you with your green laundry journey.
1. Wear clothing more than once.
Obviously, there are some exceptions to this rule (underwear, gym clothes and socks, for example), but unless they are seriously dirty, many items can go for a lot longer between washes than you may think. In fact, washing your clothes less often could even extend their longevity. As long as they aren't soiled, articles such as jeans and hoodies can go for a week without needing a wash.
2. Wash with cold water
Heating water uses quite a bit of energy, so cut down on costs by washing your clothes in cold water rather than hot. If you must use warm or hot, make sure you rinse in cold water as it is just as effective at rinsing out detergent residue.
3. Use eco-friendly laundry detergent
Speaking of detergents, a great green laundry tip is to start using a product that is safer for the environment, such as Charlie's Soap. Wash your clothes with an eco-friendly laundry detergent free from fillers, dyes and brighteners. Not only is it better for the environment, it's safer for your health.
4. Avoid fabric softeners
Not only are they unnecessary, they have the potential to reduce the inflammatory protectants in children's clothing. Yikes! The more you use an eco-friendly detergent like Charlie's Soap, the cleaner and softer your clothes will get, eliminating the need for softeners.
Although not for everyone, hand washing your clothes gives you the ability to control the amount of water used. Granted it's quicker to use a washing machine, but if it's a small load, it might not be as time-consuming as you'd think. Plus, it's probably safer for delicate items like bras and lingerie. Soak your items in a sink, bathtub or basin, add detergent and give them a good scrub! Rinse, wring and you're ready to dry!
6. Do a full load
If hand washing is not your style, wait until you have a full load of dirty clothes before firing up the washing machine. Doing multiple smaller loads throughout the week increases your water usage, especially if you don't adjust the water level. If you use a dryer, it's better to do one load after another anyway as the dryer will still be hot from the previous load.
7. Dump the dryer sheets
While we are on the topic of drying clothes, it's important to note that dryer sheets are not only coated with nasty chemicals, they are also non-recyclable. Trade in your sheets for hedgehogs, dryer balls or aluminum foil.
8. Clean the lint trap regularly
If you clean the lint trap after each use, the hot air will circulate more efficiently. Plus, it reduces the risk of your dryer catching on fire from lint build-up.
9. Ditch the dryer altogether
Next to refrigerators, dryers are the biggest energy-sucking appliance in your home. Although not always possible in northern frigid temperatures, hanging your clothes outside to dry cuts costs and leaves clothes smelling super fresh. If a clothesline isn't an option, a drying rack inside your home works well too.
Do you have any eco-friendly laundry tips you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below!