There's a lot of hype about cleaning up the ocean, and rightly so. But we can do more than just cutting out plastic and going vegan. In fact, we can do things which require less thought and energy than both of those things. Yes, we can tweak our laundry habits to help the ocean.
Use a laundry bag
Plymouth University found that washing 6kg of clothes can cause between 137,951 and 728,789 fibres to be released into the ocean and pollute it. Why is this an issue? Well, fish and their larvae, can ingest microfibres. This is not only harmful for fish, but also for us when we eat seafood! Plastic in the ocean is also responsible for the rise of temperature in seawater.
The more natural fibres you wear, like cotton, the better it is for our oceans. Especially as a city about the size of Berlin could release 540,000 plastic bags worth of fibre into the ocean daily.
However, only wearing clothes that are made from natural fibres might be a bit unrealistic, at least in the immediate future. The most viable option is a mesh laundry bag that's made from microfilter material. This material can capture up to 99% of fibres that are released into water during the washing process.
Free-from bad stuff
Next tip: buy natural laundry products. These are typically free from chlorine bleach, synthetic fragrance, dyes and so on. Our eco-friendly laundry products
are biodegradable and plant based, but also are free from harsh ingredients like Parabens, SLS/SLES, Pfthalates an d more. They also work well when used on cold wash - another way you can help the environment!
Control the temp
Did you know that nearly 90% of the energy used when doing laundry is spent on just heating the water? Many eco-friendly natural products are designed to work on a cold wash, including ours
! Depending on which type of laundry you're doing, consider turning down the heat. You'll save a significant amount of energy doing so!
Wash full loads
Reduce the number of loads you do each week by washing full loads. This will not only save energy, but also money! Even some of the most efficient loads can use over 40 gallons of water, so by combining a load or two per week, you'll reduce the amount of water and energy you use dramatically.
Energy efficient appliances
NB: this is not a suggestion to replace your current machine if it's still in good condition - this will actually be less efficient for the environment! However,
if you're looking for a new washer or dryer, take a look at energy efficient ones. They'll help you lower your carbon footprint and your bills…
Hang clothes to dry
Despite the obvious point of reducing your energy use, hanging clothes to dry extends their life. They're less likely to shrink and the threads lose their strength. Just make sure you don't hang dark clothes in direct sunlight!