The environmental impact of washing your clothes is greater than you might expect. The average household uses around 13,500 gallons of water a year just doing the laundry.
Need more numbers? Over 11 years of clothes washing uses enough water to fill 3 large swimming pools or enough to provide a lifetime supply of drinking water for 6 people!
It’s not just the environment we are harming, but ourselves too. The chemicals present in washing powders, solvents and fragrances can have negative effects on your skin. So what can you do?
Wear clothes more than once
This doesn’t mean avoid washing your underwear or sweaty gym gear. However, be aware most clothes do not need to be washed every day, or even every other day.
To give you an example, Levi’s recommends wearers wash their jeans every two weeks.
Choose the right washing machine for you
Washing machines consume more energy than most other appliances in the home. A good washing machine can save you energy, water and time. Make sure your washing machine has an energy saving eco program and be sure to use this when washing at lower temperatures.
Fill the washing machine up thoroughly and remember to clean out the build-up of scale, this reduces washing efficiency.
Use natural laundry detergent alternatives
Many people think it’s enough to just look out for the BIO sticker on washing powders. Be aware, because unlike BIO food and clothing, the washing industry is not as strictly regulated. Every product must contain at least 1% of ingredients from natural origins to receive the certification.
Instead look out for environmental certificates issued by the Department of the Environment. The criteria for this award is broader and encompasses biodegradability and full recyclability of packaging.
Or even better, make your own.
How? Read our easy hack here
100% Natural – nuts for Soap Nuts
Originating from India and Nepal, Soap Nuts are a new natural phenomenon. When they come in contact with water they produce a soap-like substance to wash your clothes, without a chemical perfume.
Just put the Soap Nuts in a cloth bag (around 6-8 is recommended) and put them in the washing machine. They should last between three and four washes. When the shells have been fully discarded, throw them into the compost.