The environmental impact of laundry

What can you do to reduce the environmental consequences and risks of doing your laundry

With climate change, we need to lower our carbon footprint more and more. Small changes into our daily habits can make a big difference. The way we wash and dry out clothes can have a negative impact on the planet. At Iorgreen, we believe that we can change our self and reduce the environmental impact of laundry along with other daily habits.

Doing laundry can have a negative impact on our planet, especially if we are not conscious about what type of detergent we chose, how much clean water we’ve used and how we dry our clothes.

You may think that one load of washing shouldn’t impact the environment that much, but are chances that we contributing to a bigger problem if we don’t consider the environmental impact of our actions.

Did you know?

  • Washing and drying a 5 kg load of clothes every two days creates nearly 440kg of carbon dioxide emissions in a year
  • 90% of energy used in your wash cycles comes from heating the water

Chemical pollution

Commercial detergents and softeners aren’t environmentally friendly, as potential harmful chemicals are getting into water after your laundry load. Sometimes, heavy metals, foaming agents, non soluble agents are used into these commercial detergents or laundry soaps which will interact with our skin and environment.  

Most of these ingredients pose significant threat to sea life, flora and vegetation of the water courses and eventually they will end up into our system through different products. So, opting for a natural and, sustainable detergent or laundry soap is the no brainer option. 

These eco-friendly laundry products don’t contain harmful or harsh chemicals and are a better alternative for our direct benefit and for our environment.

 

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Microplastics

In recent studies, has been found that a healthy part of microplastics found in oceans are coming from our laundry waste water, therefore from our clothes. These so called microplastics are particles of plastic that break off from our synthetic clothing when are washed and dried. These microplastics are so small that are found everywhere, in our consumed meat, in our drinking water and even in our bodies. 

That’s why, we need to stop using plastic products and to try to reduce the quantity of microplastic that gets into our water and environment, fish and wildlife. Using a reusable laundry bag to put your synthetic items in while you wash them is one of the greener alternatives out there. Choosing clothing with natural fibres also will help and most important, choosing plastic free alternatives will break this harmful cycle of microplastics.

Water consumption

Did you know that an average washing machine uses 51,000 litres of water every year? That would be the quantity of water a human will consume in a lifetime.  Also, a lot of energy is used to clean, process and distribute the clean water into our home taps. 

In recent years, we hear that more and more people are getting less or no fresh water in the summer months because the shortage of drinkable water. So, getting more efficient and more conscious on how and when we use our water supplies is more important than ever.

How can we reduce our water consumption when comes to laundry? Is simple, wash bigger loads as rarely as possible. Upgrade your washing machine to a more modern and with higher efficiency in terms of water and energy consumption.

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Energy Efficiency

Did you know that a family of four can use as much as 130,000 watts of energy each year for their laundry? Looking in perspective, in most cases, this energy consumption is done through non sustainable energy sources, which will have an impact on the planet and it resources. 

We can take small steps into reducing this energy consumption and we can “become more energy efficient” when it comes to our laundry. These steps involve reducing the water temperature below 40 degrees when we are washing, wearing more than once our clothes and most importantly drying our laundry without a tumble dryer. (natural air drying)

Also, it will help if we have an energy efficient washing machine, with a higher energy rating, such as A+ class. These changes will have a significant impact and will help you living a more natural, eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle.

the environmental impact of laundry banner showing clothing drying in air

Did you learn what is The Environment Impact of Laundry ?

Becoming more thoughtful and adopting a more zero waste and plastic-free attitude will reduce your impact on the environment. Change small things from your everyday schedule, will make a difference. Change your common detergent with a sustainable alternative, use a reusable laundry bag for your synthetic clothing, wash lees frequent in bigger loads, dry your laundry outside in the sun than using your dryer. All of these small changes will add up and together we can reduce our carbon footprint.

Do you have more  tips? Also, if you found our article useful, please share it with your friends and family and who knows, a small change can happen. Thank you and hope to see you soon. 

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