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Eco-Friendly Laundry Practices: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Since their introduction in the 1950s, washing machines have become a ubiquitous presence in almost every American household, revolutionizing our approach to cleanliness and convenience. However, the environmental impact of this indispensable appliance often goes overlooked. From water usage to electricity consumption and over-packaged detergents, our laundry routines contribute significantly to our carbon footprint. In the United States, laundry alone accounts for 8% of all household greenhouse gas emissions. This article explores some sustainable laundry ideas and zero-waste products to help you minimize the environmental impact of your weekly wash routines.

Conscious Clothing Choices:

The most straightforward way to reduce your laundry's environmental impact is to do less laundry. Instead of instinctively tossing every item into the hamper after a single use, pause and consider if they genuinely require washing. Unless garments are visibly stained or smelly, extending the time between washes can significantly decrease the carbon footprint. Items like jeans and sweaters can often withstand 3-10 wears before needing laundering!  Additionally, always wait until you have a full load before starting the wash, making the process more efficient for both the environment and yourself.

Invest in High-Efficiency Machines:

Consider upgrading to a high-efficiency washing machine if you haven't already. Modern machines utilize only one-third of the energy compared to those manufactured in 1973. Washing machines with the HE label not only consume less water and electricity but also require a smaller amount detergent. These machines are often higher in capacity as well, providing additional advantages. While the initial investment may seem significant, the long-term benefits in terms of energy savings and reduced environmental impact make it a worthwhile commitment.

Opt for Cold Water Washing:

Want to reduce 90% of the electricity used for a load of laundry? Simply click the temperature dial on your washer to cold and press start. No really, that’s it! By selecting the cold water setting, you can reduce 90% of the electricity typically used for a load of laundry. Research supports that cold water is just as effective at cleaning clothes, and many detergents are formulated to work optimally in colder water. Moreover, 60% of laundry's household greenhouse gas emissions come just from heating the water. Making this adjustment is not only environmentally friendly but also practically imperceptible in terms of cleaning efficacy.

Opt for Line Drying:

The use of a dryer accounts for 6% of the average household's energy consumption and contributes to 75% of laundry's total carbon footprint. Air-drying clothes through line drying can reduce climate impact by 67%. Making this small adjustment in your laundry routine is an effective way to conserve energy and enhance the eco-friendliness of your laundry practices.

Embrace a Zero-Waste Laundry Approach:

With the increasing focus on environmentally conscious living, numerous zero-waste options are now available for household routines, including laundry.You can ditch big bulky plastic jugs of detergent for your pick of refillable bottles, soap bars, powders, pods, or even detergent sheets to help significantly reduce plastic waste. Consider drier balls as an alternative to traditional dryer sheets, minimizing static, wrinkles, and cutting drying time by up to 40% without resorting to toxic chemicals. To get you started, try out our laundry bundle, featuring sustainable alternatives for a comprehensive zero-waste laundry routine.


The laundry room, often underestimated, has a substantial environmental impact. However, adopting sustainable laundry practices doesn't necessarily mean making significant changes to your routine. Simple shifts like using cold water, opting for packaging-free detergents, and air-drying clothes can make a substantial difference in shrinking the carbon footprint associated with this weekly chore. A sustainable, eco-friendly laundry routine is not only feasible but also a responsible choice. What eco-friendly practices will you incorporate into your next laundry day?

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