While buying clothes made of sustainable fabrics is one way to reduce your garderobe’s environmental footprint, changing your laundry habits can also make a big difference. Here are three ways you can make your laundry routine more eco-friendly.
- Wash your garments less. Perhaps the most obvious tip is to avoid the washing machine altogether. You can do this by learning how to hand-wash your clothes in the tub or sink, or simply refrain from chucking items in the wash that you can wear again. If that’s not an option, try making your washes shorter in order to save on energy. An important thing to keep in mind is that cleaning your clothes in light or delicate setting does not constitute a “lighter wash”. In fact, that can actually make things worse since it’s the volume of water, not the speed and abrasive force of the washing machine, that’s responsible for the release of microfibers. And a delicate spin cycle uses a significantly higher amount of water.
- Wash with cold water. Hot water uses an overwhelming amount of energy. Switching to cold water is not only better for the environment, but it can actually increase the longevity of your clothing. On a cold water cycle, clothes are able to maintain a more vibrant color, and they tend to lose fewer microfibers.
- Skip the dryer. Dryers are huge energy hogs, and using the dryer also wears out your clothes faster. Whether you’re able to hang them on a clothesline or drying rack outside or you simply prop them out of the way in your bathroom, it’s a simple change that can have enormous effects on the environment.