Doing your laundry is a necessity (no matter how much of a pain it is to do!), but it is a process that can cost the environment hugely. According to DEFRA, the impacts of the laundry processes millions of people do every day are water pollution, eutrophication, greenhouse gas emissions and potential toxicity impacts. It is not good.
Well, fear not! We have got a whole host of ways that you can lessen the impact your laundry process has on the environment. From recycled plastic clothes pegs, to eco-friendly bleach, here is a step by step guide to ensure that your laundry process is end-to-end eco-friendly. And, the great news is we now stock a whole host of eco-laundry products to make it that bit easier to make the switch!
Let’s start at the beginning…
Step 1: Keep your clothes shopping mindful
‘Shopping? That isn’t part of a laundry process?’ Well, no, it isn’t but the fibres in your clothes can directly affect the environment. When washing synthetic fibres, like polyester, microplastics within the material and dyes that contain toxic chemicals are mixed into the water. Once the water is drained from your washing machine, these tiny plastic fibres and chemical dyes make their way into our sewage systems and introduce hazardous chemicals into the lakes, rivers and the sea. Think of the fish! We appreciate it is very hard to find clothes not made of synthetic fibres, but try, where you can, to choose clothes that are made of more natural fibres and dyes. You’ll probably find they are nicer to wear, too!
Step 2: Look at using eco-friendly laundry products
Seems like an obvious one, but eco-friendly detergents are a simple swap that you can make to help reduce the impact of your washing process on the environment. As part of our eco-friendly laundry range we are now stocking some really exciting new, environmentally kind washing products. Yes, it’s possible to get excited about laundry products!
We have the brilliant EcoLeaf concentrated laundry liquid which is made with biodegradable ingredients that are safe for the environment. All the extracted plant ingredients are from sustainable sources.
We also stock the Bio D concentrated lavender fabric conditioner, again made with all natural ingredients. We love that its delicately fragranced with essential oils so leave your laundry feeling soft and smelling naturally gorgeous – what more could you want?! Most standard fabric conditioners contain a lot of chemicals that can be harmful to your health, pollute the air indoors and outdoors, and are detrimental to the environment, so this one is a perfect eco-friendly alternative!
Our newest addition is the Ecover laundry bleach! Regular bleach isn’t great to have in water systems but this wonderful bleach will keep your whites naturally white and niftily removes all kinds of stains such as tea, coffee, fruit juice, red wine and grass-stains, all whilst containing no chlorine or optical brighteners to leave a deposit on the skin, no residue of unnecessary chemicals and GMO enzyme free. It truly is wonderful.
Step 3: Get a cool water wash on!
Although it is true that most of your energy cost when doing laundry comes from using a tumble dryer (more on that later….), a lot of energy is also used when heating the water in a washing cycle. Cool water washes are not at all inefficient and do just as good a job as a warm wash, especially when you use them with eco-friendly washing detergents. It is also mega gentle on your clothes, which makes them last that bit longer – win win! If you’re worried about stain removal, try pre-treating your clothes before washing them for that extra bit of power.
Step 4: Keep your drying outside
Washing lines and rotary dryers are perfect for drying your laundry in an eco-friendly fashion. As you’ve read that sentence, I’m sure you’ve thought “That’s all well and good, but what about the rather unpredictable English weather?!”. Well, we have a solution for you – our very own clever outdoor drying contraption, the Laundry Mac™. It is effectively a waterproof coat for your laundry. It will protect all your laundry from showers when it’s hanging on a rotary dryer (whirligig!) and therefore enable you to get your laundry dried outside whatever the weather. Each tumble drier load can release up to 2.6kg in CO2 so by hanging your washing outside, you really are saving an awful lot of energy which in turn, will protect the environment and save you money – you can thank us later!
Step 5: Hang your clothes with recycled plastic
As we’ve said above, hanging your washing outside is an easy way to reduce energy consumption and save money, but why not go one step further? As part of our eco-friendly laundry range, we now stock EcoForce washing pegs. These are made from 93% recycled plastic from a mixture of pre and post consumer waste. This saves oil, energy and product miles used in manufacturing virgin plastic – 70% less energy is used when using recycled plastics than the production of brand new ones, so what are you waiting for?!
And there you have it – an easy end-to-end eco-friendly laundry process!
If you fancy taking a look at some of our eco-friendly laundry products, click here.