‘Greener You’ Challenge #20 – Green Up Your Laundry

Did You Know…

  • The average American does 300 loads of laundry per year
  • The C02 emissions of doing laundry are estimated at 179 million metric tons per year, approximately equal to the annual emission of more than 21 million homes.

Here’s What You Can Do

There are many ways to do laundry in a more environmentally friendly way, but here are three simple things you can do to “Green Up” your laundry.

1) Switch to laundry sheets – Each year, over 700 million plastic detergent bottles end up in landfills (and many millions into our oceans). One simple thing you can do is switch to laundry sheets. We have been using Sheets Laundry Club ($14.99 for 50 sheets), but there are MANY zero-waste options to choose from! And yes, they work just as well.

2) Wash in ‘tap cold’ water – Heating the water consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a washing machine! There are times when hot water is necessary, like when washing clothing with oily stains or after being sick, but washing in cold water is actually better for your clothes and better for the earth as the fabric doesn’t break down as quickly (also, fewer microplastics!) You can reduce your home’s annual CO2 emissions by 864 pounds by washing four out of five loads in cold water.

3) Air dry clothes – A method used successfully the world over! Using a dryer requires anywhere from 5-10 times more energy than a washer. Whether you’re using a dryer or the sun, start by using the high-speed spin cycle to remove as much water as possible. Then, especially if it’s a nice day, let the sun do the work, the emissions-free, solar-powered solution to wet clothes.

Leave a comment

Become a Planetarian

Planetarian Life is a community working together to create a brighter, more hopeful future for the Earth. We need you - more people equals more impact! Start by signing up for our newsletter, you’ll receive a not-yet-posted Capsule recipe and seasonal suggestions to inspire your cooking. We also share tips, techniques, skills, and green inspiration.