New from ACTIVE: Check out our latest products here


10 Eco Friendly Laundry Tips

March 18, 2023

Washers and dryers may make our lives easier but they also impact the environment in several ways. For one thing, they have large carbon footprints.

To give you a better idea, one load of washing and drying is equivalent to 2.4kg CO2e – that’s nearly 7.5 miles of driving!

How else does doing the laundry affect the planet? What can we do to make things greener? Let’s find out.

How Washing Your Clothes Affects the Planet

1. The Dryer is an Energy Hog

The dryer uses significantly more energy than the washing machine. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it costs households an average of ~$100 a year.

This is a problem because the energy does not come from renewable sources; rather, they come from fossil fuels.

When these fossil fuels are burnt, they produce a significant amount of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which are released into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming, among other things.

2. The Washing Machine Uses a Lot of Water

eco friendly laundry tipsDid you know that the average household consumes over 300 gallons of water every day? And the majority of it comes form the washing machine.

To put things into perspective, that’s enough water for nearly 800 showers!

3. Fibers Can Make their Way to Water Systems

Over time, it’s not uncommon for fabrics to break down and make their way to the sewage systems. Usually, this isn’t a major issue with natural fibers as they tend to decompose quickly.

However, it can be a big problem with man-made fibers such as polyester and nylon. Unlike cotton or wool, they are made from plastic and do not break down easily.

In fact, it can take anywhere from 100 to 1000 years for them to decompose in landfills.

Perhaps even more worrying, however, is the fact that many shorelines around the world are already contaminated with man-made fibers.

4. Chemicals can be Introduced Into Our Water Systems

eco friendly laundry tipsWater pollution by chemicals is another big concern. Take, for instance, laundry detergents. These products are more or less a cocktail of chemicals. Not only do they contain ingredients that are not fully biodegradable, but many contain suspected carcinogens.

These substances can be harmful to wildlife (i.e. fish and other marine animals) and can also disrupt the growth of aquatic plants by blocking out light.

5. Phosphates Can Lead to Eutrophication

eco friendly laundry tipsMany laundry detergents contain phosphates, which increase the efficacy of detergents by chelating magnesium and calcium ions.

However, they also have a downside—they tend to make their way to natural bodies of water, where they can cause nutrient pollution. For this reason, many companies have banned their use in detergents. ACTIVE Detergent, for instance, is 100% phosphate-free.

One of the main consequences is eutrophication. This occurs when a body of water becomes overly enriched with nutrients and minerals. As a result, there is excessive growth of algae and plants, which ultimately leads to a depletion of oxygen.

6. Lots of Plastic is Used For Laundry Products

Laundry products such as detergents and softeners often come in plastic bottles. Unfortunately, not all of them are recyclable.

As a result, a significant amount goes to landfills, where they sit for hundreds of years. This has an enormous impact on the environment.

7. Harmful Fumes Come Out of the Dryer Vents

The dryer doesn’t just use up a lot of energy, it also pumps out a significant amount of exhaust gas. In some cases, there might even be carcinogens such as benzene and acetaldehyde, both of which are also found in gasoline.

Not only do these gases decrease indoor air quality, but they will contribute to air pollution in the environment.

Top 10 Eco-Friendly Laundry Tips – Lessen the Impact on the Environment

Want to do your part to make the planet a better place? We will be sharing some of our best tips below.

1. Pass on the Dryer

eco friendly laundry tipsYou’ll consume much less energy by skipping the dryer; toxic fumes will also not be released into the air. Instead, line dry your clothes. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint but your garments will also last longer as the dryer tends to damage the fibers over time.

One of the main complaints of line drying is that the clothes will become stiff and wrinkled. Fortunately, you can prevent this by giving them a good shake before hanging them up. Proper air circulation also helps.

2. Wear Your Clothes More Than Once

Try to wear your new clothes more than once before putting them in the washing machine. Unless they’re workout clothes, in which you’d want to wash them due to the sweat, you can hang them up until you’re ready to wear them again.

This will save a considerable amount of energy and resources in the long run (i.e. less power, detergent, fumes, etc.).

3. Wash with Cold Water

Washing with cold water will save a considerable amount of energy. Not only will you use less power but it will also be better for your clothes.

Tip: While hot water is usually better for stains, it has a tendency of shrinking certain fabrics such as cotton and wool.

4. Don’t Use Too Much Laundry Detergent

Pay attention to how much detergent you’re adding to your laundry; always follow the dosing instructions.

The more you use, the more chemicals will enter the waterways. Not only that but it will also reduce the washing machine’s efficiency over time (particularly with powdered soaps). Using less detergent will also decrease the chance of skin irritation as it will be easier to rinse out of your clothes.

Luckily with ACTIVE Detergent, you won’t need to worry as much about overusing detergent. ACTIVE is safe for sensitive skin and contains a natural, plant-based enzyme formula that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.

5. Always Do Full Loads

Try your best to avoid doing small loads of laundry—wait until you have a full washer’s worth. After all, the washing machine will be using the same amounts of water and energy regardless of what’s inside. Even energy-efficient washers use over 25 gallons of water per cycle.

Have a few articles of clothing that you need to wash? Consider doing so by hand.

6. Consider Using Powdered Detergents

eco friendly laundry tipsAs mentioned earlier, there are two types of laundry detergent—liquid and powder. While they’re equally as effective, the liquid variety is generally frowned upon due to the fact that it comes in plastic bottles. Some of them might be recyclable, but the majority of them ends up going to the landfills, where they sit for hundreds of years.

Powdered detergents (like ACTIVE) are much better in this regard as they usually come in cardboard packaging. Instead of tossing them away when you’re done, you can easily recycle them. Less plastic is always better for the environment! As an added bonus, they’re typically a little cheaper too.

7. Upgrade to an Energy-Efficient Washer/Dryer

You might want to consider getting an upgrade if your washing machine is on the old side. Nowadays, there are many washers that are Energy Star certified, meaning they use much less energy than their regular counterparts—approximately 33% less water and 25% less energy.

These machines are different in that they have new technologies, which allow you to clean the same amount of clothes without having to fill the tub completely with water. They also have sensors that monitor temperature and incoming water levels.

If everyone was to use an Energy Star certified washer in the United States, we’d prevent the emission of over 19 billion pounds of greenhouse gases every year.

8. Use All-Natural Laundry Detergents

Not all laundry detergents contain harsh chemicals. The good news is there are many that contain all-natural ingredients (usually plant-based formulas like the one found in ACTIVE detergent). For example, some contain polyvinyl alcohol, which is designed to be completely biodegradable.

By switching to a greener alternative, you’ll be doing your part to prevent chemical pollution.

9. Skip the Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets

Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are similar to detergents in that they contain several different chemicals. Sure, they might help to soften your clothes but they will also contribute to water pollution.

Instead of using these products, use a greener alternative. For instance, wool dryer balls are great for softening up your clothes in the dryer; vinegar can also be added to the washing machine as a softening agent.

10. Avoid Using Chlorine Bleach

Did you know that millions of pounds of chlorine are emitted into the atmosphere every year? Given that, chlorine bleach might not be the best choice for stains.

Instead, use oxygen bleach. Not only are they capable of the same thing, but they naturally break down in the air.

ACTIVE After Post

Click To Reveal The 15% Off Coupon Code For Your Entire ACTIVE Purchase At 

More Less

Note: This promotional offer is only guaranteed through the end of the day.

Click this link to view on Amazon

Picture of Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Similar posts

Continue Reading