There are so many easy ways to “green” your laundry! And yet again, they are easy AND less expensive than our current conventional methods.
Let’s start with clothes dryers. They are super convenient, but they are AWFUL for the environment.
“If all households with a tumble dryer dried one load of washing outside each week, instead of by machine, they would save over a million tonnes of CO2 in a year.” – Tread lightly: Switch off your tumble dryer
That’s a *massive* reduction in C02 emissions! Luckily you don’t have to invest in solar panels to harvest the awesome raw energy of solar power! You can just line dry your clothing! We have been doing 90% of drying via line or hang drying for about a year and I gotta say, I love it. I enjoy stepping outside and the peaceful act of pegging my laundry. I also love how wonderful my clothes smell when they have been line dried in the sun. We have a Brabantia line dryer and I LOVE IT.
There are other benefits to line drying your clothes. Aside from the lovely smell it’s also much gentler on your clothing, meaning your clothes last longer which is also an eco-win. On a sunny day it’s shocking how fast your clothes can dry. It’s actually faster than machine drying. Before we upgraded to the Brabantia we used this collapsible clothing rack which worked fine but it didn’t have nearly the same capacity or awesomeness. If outdoor and indoor space is an issue, you can always use one of these collapsible wall mounted units. We plan on getting two for our laundry room at some point for rainy days.
It’s also important to look at what you are using to wash your laundry. You want to make sure that the detergent you choose is both environmentally friendly in composition as well as packaging. You don’t want to be washing your clothes in yucky chemicals that are bad for you AND putting nasty stuff into the water stream. It’s a win if you can avoid buying detergents in plastic or hard to recycle/non recyclable materials. We have made the switch to Dropps brand laundry detergent (and dishwasher detergent) which is an eco friendly formula that comes in compostable cardboard packaging. I like that it comes in pod form because I think they are cute and easy to use. Our family is super happy with their effectiveness, we’re fans. As an added bonus, I love that I no longer have a huge whopping detergent bottle that takes up a massive amount of space and drips everywhere.
You can also look into a refill service such as Fillaree which will mail liquid detergent refills to your home and you mail back the empties when you are done. Or you can look into what possible refill options you have close to where you live.
You’ll also notice those balls there, too. When we do use our dryer, these wool balls have totally replaced dryer sheets in our home. I can say with complete and total confidence that we will never use dyer sheets again. Wool balls work SO much better! Dryer sheets are a single use product which is bad for the environment. They are also full of undisclosed fragrances (chemicals) and other bad stuff that is bad for you, too. It’s so easy to use wool balls. You just chuck them in with your load of wet laundry and let them do their magic. They bounce around and circulate the warm air more evenly to your clothing which in turn makes your load dry faster=more energy efficient. They reduce static, last for YEARS, and they are compostable. You can find them everywhere, from Amazon to Target, but here is a link to Friendship Wool which is a highly ethical and fair trade brand.
Our household also invested in a Filtrol 160. Microplastics are HUGE problem and one of the main contributors to microplastics entering the water stream is through washing of synthetic clothing.
“Microplastics can be toxic to wildlife on their own, but they can also act like sponges, soaking up other toxins in the water. Worse, they can be ingested by all sorts of marine wildlife and accumulate in the food chain. A recent study found around 73 percent of fish caught at mid-ocean depths in the Northwest Atlantic had microplastic in their stomachs. Even the animals that live in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, are eating microfibers.“- Link
Since it’s nearly impossible to wear clothing made only of natural materials we felt it was important to make this investment. The Filtrol 160 is pretty affordable at $140 and does not require a plumber for installation. I made a pretty crappy video below about our Filtrol. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! I will always try to answer them as best I can. I hope I have convinced you to Green your Laundry routine! 🙂