Apart from being an extremely mundane task, doing your laundry is also rather far from being an eco-friendly chore. It involves an energy-intensive process that uses a lot of water and, in the case of synthetic fabrics, releases countless microplastics into the environment, threatening public health and natural ecosystems.
But while we can’t really avoid washing our clothes, there are a few ways we can significantly reduce the amount of dirty laundry we produce on a weekly basis. With that in mind, the people over at Treehugger have a few key strategies to stop the laundry from piling up.
Buy more natural fabrics
When buying clothing, try to avoid those made of synthetic fibers. These are not only responsible for plastic pollution, but also hold on to odor much more than natural fibers. A pair of wool socks, for example, can be worn 3-4 days in a row without smelling, as can wool, hemp, or cotton shirts.
Air them out
Try avoiding the dryer as much as possible. If outdoor drying is not possible, hanging clothes on an indoor drying rack placed in the sunniest or breeziest room does the job perfectly.
Many spots that our clothes fall victim to can be quickly wiped away with a wet cloth, thus avoiding throwing the whole thing in the laundry basket.
Rethink your standards
It goes without saying, our society’s standards of laundry hygiene are a bit over the top. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a shirt that’s still clean but not just cleaned.
Own fewer clothes
This may sound counterintuitive, but when you have only a handful of items in the closet that you really like wearing, you’re more inclined to stretch the time between washes.
These strategies may not work for everyone, nor are they a replacement for laundering when it’s actually needed. Nonetheless, they are meant to be a reminder that doing the laundry is not always the first solution. Stop, sniff, scan – and then scrub if you need to.