If you had parents like ours, you probably grew up with a few tenets for doing the laundry: separate light and dark colors, wash towels and sheets in their own loads, and “don’t even THINK about throwing your muddy jeans in with my nice work clothes!”
These are all great suggestions that “you’d better keep in mind if you live in my house,” but they’re just the tip of the icecaps when it comes to doing laundry in an eco-friendly way.
Here are a few simple additions to the laundry routine that will go a long way toward helping the planet.
Look, we’re not telling you to walk around in dirty skivvies, but did you really need to throw that shirt in the dirty laundry basket when you only wore it to run up to the bank?
When you wash clothes after every wear, you create more work for yourself and more harm for the environment. Plus, you end up wearing out your clothes faster. Most articles of clothing –instances of serious staining or sweating aside – can be worn three times or more before they need to be washed. Anything else is propaganda from Big Detergent.
Most of the energy needed to run a wash cycle comes from simply heating up water, so it’s best to forgo warm and hot water washing as much as possible. There are certain synthetic fabrics that recommend washing in warm water (remind us to tell you someday about which fabrics are more eco-friendly than others), but the majority of clothing can do perfectly well in a cold wash cycle. The best practice is to read your clothing labels and separate the hot wash items into one load.
Your detergent is what makes or breaks a washing cycle, so it’s important to choose the right one. Many of the brand names on your grocery shelf are packed with harsh chemicals, phosphates, dyes, chlorine and other enzymes. Not only are they harmful to the environment, but they can also be serious skin irritants and even damage your clothes. On top of that, almost every name brand product comes in plastic packaging, which significantly increases its (and your, if you buy it) carbon footprint.
That’s where Dropps comes in. They’ve developed a complete line of sustainable laundry pods that come delivered to your door in compostable packaging. Since they’re on the same mission we are – to help you green your lifestyle – they purchase carbon offsets to ensure that, when they ship your eco-friendly laundry detergent to you, it’s done with minimal impact on the environment. Best of all? Their sustainable laundry detergents and bleach substitutes pack a serious punch.
Maybe this seems like sacrilege in your home, but there are ways to dry your clothes without using your dryer or hanging up a clothesline outdoors (though to be honest, if you’ve got the room to do it you totally should; there’s nothing like curling up to sleep in the evening on freshly sun-dried bedsheets). Indoor drying racks are great, economical ways to dry your laundry. They work indoors for when the outside weather isn’t cooperating or if you live in an apartment and don’t have the outdoor space to hang wet clothes effectively.
If skipping the dryer is a bridge too far for you at this time, that’s okay. But no matter what, it’s time to kick the single-use anti-static dryer sheet habit and get yourself some reusable wool dryer balls. They’re not only an eco-friendlier alternative to dryer sheets, they’re more efficient too. These little guys actually help dry your clothes faster by absorbing moisture and static electricity from your clothes, meaning you can put your dryer on a lower heat setting and still cut down on your drying time. On top of all that greatness, eco-friendly dryer balls even help soften clothes and reduce wrinkles. After one wash, you’ll wonder why you ever bought dryer sheets in the first place.
These eco-friendly laundry tips should be enough to get your started on your journey to a greener, more sustainable laundry routine. One of the great things about being eco-friendly with your laundry is that it creates less work for you while it lightens the load on the planet. From rinse to spin, sustainable laundry is a win. (Yeah, sorry, we couldn’t resist.)