5 Easy Eco-friendly Laundry Swaps to Make for Earth day
Over a year ago I committed to exploring eco-friendly laundry options. Once I finished a bulk Costco purchase, I decided to explore eco-friendly laundry swaps for my conventional laundry products. EarthHero became a one-stop shop for sustainable home products including eco-friendly laundry options. If you are considering making some eco-friendly laundry swaps for Earth day, this blog post has some ideas to help you get started on your journey. The products featured can be found on EarthHero.com. Earth Hero has kindly provided a discount of 10% off with the code MSPAULAPRESENTS for my readers.
EarthHero.com is an eco-friendly online marketplace featuring 175+ sustainable brands. EarthHero is committed to sustainability in the way it sources, packages and ships its products. EarthHero contributes at least one percent of its’ profits to environment causes, as part of its membership of One Percent for the Planet. Earth Hero is also a Certified B Corp, which means that it has been certified to meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. At the bottom of this post, you will find special earth month promotional discounts from EarthHero.
Why conventional laundry is not eco-friendly
The sad truth is that most of our conventional laundry detergents are not eco-friendly and their use contributes greatly to straining our planet. According to the University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems, 26 million tones of CO2 are emitted in the US each year from washing clothes! It’s also estimated that 30% to 35% of microplastics in the oceans are from laundering synthetic garments.
The EPA reports that conventional laundry detergents contain a form of phosphorus called phosphates, which harms marine life when it gets into the water system and eventually into water sources. Conventional detergents also contain unnatural surfactants that harm marine life. Eco-friendly laundry detergents avoid such ingredients.
Similar to most household products, laundry detergent packaging is largely made from plastic. While there are laudable efforts to use recycled plastic, those efforts are just not enough. Plastic is made from petro-chemicals that don’t decompose quickly enough in landfills.
Below are some eco-friendly laundry options you can find on EarthHero.com
Eco-friendly laundry powder
I prefer to use laundry powder in place of liquid detergent because laundry powder is mostly packaged in cardboard, while liquid detergents are packaged in plastic. Cardboard is much easier to recycle than plastic. Cardboard can be recycled five to seven times and is a generally straightforward and easy material to recycle. I also think that transporting a product that is mostly liquid (liquid detergent) and so denser is not only costlier but also has a bigger carbon footprint comparatively, so not really worth it given all the eco-friendly alternatives. To be clear, not all laundry powders are eco-friendly. Many laundry detergent powders contain synthetic surfactants and phosphates that are harmful to the planet and marine life. Eco-friendly laundry powders are free of these harmful chemicals. I like Meliora laundry powder. It comes in plastic free packaging, contains no dyes, synthetic fragrances and is also cruelty free. Meliora also comes in a variety of scents and doubles as a fabric softener. Because Meliora comes in a variety of natural scents, it will have the “clean” laundry smell you are used too.
Eco-Nuts are a very unique eco-friendly laundry alternative given that they grow on a plant and are used in their natural state. Eco Nuts Soap Nuts are nut-free because they are actually dried berries from trees in the Himalayas. When agitated in water, soap nuts release natural cleansing suds called saponin–which also doubles as a fabric softener. You can use the soap nuts for 4 washes. The used nuts are biodegradable and compostable.
Eco-friendly laundry stain sticks
Most conventional laundry stain removers come in plastic containers or in spray bottles and some even have harmful chemicals. Laundry sticks like the Meliora stain stick work on tough stains without the harmful chemicals and plastic. The meliora laundry stick is made from organic sunflower and coconut oil and is just as effective as conventional stain removers!
Wool Dryer balls
Wool dryer balls are an earth-friendly alternative to standard dryer sheets, which tend to have chemical ingredients. They improve the drying cycle by separating large clumps of wet clothing, which allows warm air to circulate evenly and shortens the time needed for the perfect dry. This saves energy, protects your clothing from unnecessary wear and eliminates static cling. Dryer balls cut down drying time by about 25%.
This swap is great for pet owners who need to remove lint almost daily from their clothes. Single-use lint roller sheets are not recyclable, and neither is their plastic frame. Consider a lint brush instead. How a lint brush works is simple: the rubber bristles take on a static charge when you brush the garments and this attracts the small lint fibers and particles. You can then remove the lint by hand or by running the brush under water. Instead of continuously throwing away those wasteful sticky papers, consider a lint brush. EarthHero has some options.
Bonus points if you use microfiber filtering devices
This is not a swap but consider adding microfiber filtering or capturing devices to your laundry routine. We’re still learning about microplastics but we know that the level of microfiber pollution especially in our oceans is unsustainable. Reducing microplastics is an important step in making your laundry more eco-friendly. Did you know that 35% of microfiber pollution comes from laundering synthetic garment, especially athletic wear? Below are some devices that you can use.
A cora ball is an example of a microfiber catching/filtering device. How it works is simple. You toss the Cora ball into your wash and it will trap microplastics/microfibers that are shed from your clothes.
Guppy friend bag
The Guppy friend bag is another example of a microplastic catching device. The guppy bag can fit quite a lot! You place your synthetic garments in the bag and toss them into the washer. The shed microfibers remain in the bag and you can dispose of them. Good examples of clothes to put this bag are athletic wear and bras.
Ready to make a switch? Earthhero has some special earth month promotional discounts
EarthHero Earth month 2021 promotions
- 4/1-4/30: 15% off site-wide with code EARTHMONTH
- 4/19-4/26: 15% off site-wide with code EARTHMONTH, every order placed removes 1 pound of plastic through Plastic Oceans non-profit
Thank you to EarthHero for sponsoring this post. Sponsored posts help keep Mspaulapresents.com up as a free resource for everyone interested in sustainable fashion and living.