Safer Ways to do Your Laundry

When I say safer, I mean for the environment and ourselves. Hopefully by now, most of the people reading this do their laundry but for the few of you that save it for home… take some of these ideas with you to your parents.

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In my last post I talked about how fast fashion and synthetic fabrics directly leak from factories and into the fresh water and oceans, but I also mentioned how those fabrics indirectly reach our waters. Indirectly, they are reaching the oceans simply from families washing clothes.

How Does this happen?

Ever dry your clothes? That icky looking blackish/brownish collection of fibers and dust is called lint. Those fibers separate from your clothes and are caught in the lint collector for all of us to see. Well, this process also happens when you wash your clothes but you don’t look at it afterwards. These fibers, combined with whatever conventional laundry detergent you are using, are polluting our oceans. The synthetic blend of fibers like nylon, rayon, spandex, and polyester, leach into the environment because they are undetectable by treatment plants and add to the collection of micro plastics accumulating in the food chain- being ingested by marine life and eventually us.

researchgate.com

Conventional laundry detergent like Tide, Snuggle, or Gain add to the mix of harmful toxins polluting our world. Even though they make your clothes smell fresh and cozy, the chemicals inside are KNOWN to be carcinogenic!

Found in most laundry detergents, including Tide, is a chemical known as 1,4-Dioxane. This chemical is considered a human carcinogen according to the EPA. “1,4-Dioxane is used as a solvent. Short term inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4-dioxane has caused vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in humans. It may also irritate the skin. Damage to the liver and kidneys has been observed in rats chronically long term exposed in their drinking water.”

How do we reduce our impact?

We are so fortunate to live in a time where safer, non-chemical products are available at almost all popular retail, and grocery stores like Target, Walmart, Weis markets, Aldi etc.. 

In general— thinking beyond laundry detergent there are all sorts of high quality non-toxic brands that produce a variety of home cleaning spreads ranging from surface cleaner all the way to laundry detergent. But for the simplicity of this post, I’m going to share some of my tips on how you can do laundry better for yourself, your future, and this beautiful earth.

E-tips 

  • Do FULL loads of laundry. So much money, and energy is wasted by simply running a washing machine. 
  • One of the BEST Tips I can offer is buying a fibre filter bag! It will significantly reduce the amount of micro plastics and fibers into the environment and make your clothes last longer and preserve it’s original colors!
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  • Wear the clothing more than once! Some clothes, excluding socks or underwear, do not need to be washed after each use. 
  • Use cold water, 90% of the energy is used in heating the water in the machine
  • BUY non-toxic laundry detergent! If you know it harms your skin, and the earth you walk on then why purchase it when you know there is an alternative for equal to/ half the price? Dropps are the new and improved version of a tide pod. People love pods because they are wayyyyy more convenient than carrying around a huge bottle of detergent. They offer a plastic free, naturally derived product with a carbon neutral shipping guarantee!
  • If you don’t feel like the new idea of opting for something like shipped laundry pods there are safer brands you can buy in stores that don’t cost any more than regular detergents, and smell just as fresh! EverSpring Laundry Detergent is sold at Target is one option, or Method’s products which are sold at Walmart these are both convenient for many college shoppers!
  • Aim to buy the most eco-friendly materials and clothing so that when you do your laundry you are reducing the amount of micro-fibers entering the oceans. If you want some suggestions read my post Forget Fast Fashion here!

Please consider implementing some of these very simple and attainable lifestyle choices when cleaning your dirty clothes! By doing so you are helping our planet and the beautiful sea babies suffocating in tons of plastic. As always, Don’t forget to to like share and REPOST!!!!

Sources

Click to access ffrro_factsheet_contaminant_14-dioxane_january2014_final.pdf

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