‘Tips To Make Your Laundry Green’
We all want to contribute to the wellness of the environment but necessary changes cannot take place overnight. Best way is to change our day to day life in small but impactful steps. One should look at activities/rooms/persons in a family which have the largest carbon foot print . Some family have a lot of cooking done and waste generation in their kitchen . They should opt for eco-vating their kitchen first.
Mine was laundry. We are in the habit of changing clothes often and due to living in highly polluted area we were forced to wash often to avoid respiratory allergies.
I followed these simple and not so costly changes to reduce water bill as well as reusing our own grey water.
Energy efficient and water saving washing machine–
Initially I used top loading washing machine which consumed a lot of water. With festival sales going on I got my old top load washing machine exchanged for star rated front load machine. “Its proven that washing machine uses less water to rinse out the same amount of detergent in comparison with hand washing. There is no need to move back to hand washing to be eco-friendly.” Front load machines use 40% less water than top load ones.
Natural cleansers and softeners–
Every region of the world is blessed with a natural surfactant. Americas have yucca, Europe has soapwort, and horsechestnut and we have Soapnut.
One can make liquid soap by boiling some part of these plants like berries, leaves, roots etc. Soapnut boiled in water releases saponins and this can be safely used in washing machine. It’s a misconception that they don’t lather well. In this video I am using sopanut liquid in my washing machine.
These surfactants clean well and do not take much water to rinse it out completely. They are gentle on clothes and have been used traditionally for delicate fabrics like silks and wools. Water coming out can be used for irrigating one’s garden or in cleaning around the house.
White vinegar is the best softener/disinfectant one can have for eco-friendly living. Essential oils can be used for good smell and as antibacterial but being costly not many would opt for it. Vinegar works best.
Decreasing plastic usage– By using natural DIY liquid soap and softener one reduces a lot of plastic packaging from landfills. There are other plastics used in laundry which too are harmful to environment. Plastics clothes drying rope and plastic clothes pin. Both have a short life and generate lot of plastic waste every year. Plastic ropes weather in sunlight to give out micro plastics.
A good coir/jute rope with wooden or metal clips can be opted to avoid plastic. Laundry basket made out of cane/bamboo can be bought once the old plastic basket completes its life cycle.
Sun drying clothes– Sun drying clothes saves energy used in dryer (is used). Sun is natural antibacterial. With rising temperatures generally there should not be any problem in drying clothes even if one does not get much sun in apartment living.
Avoiding synthetic clothing–
clothes made out of natural fibers like cotton, hemp, wool, silk, jute, bamboo etc don’t leave polymer microfibers in water . Not using synthetic clothes completely may not be possible for all but one can reduce usage and opt for dry-cleaning such clothes where cleaning fluid is filtered and reused again and again.
With these small steps we can achieve a lot of reduction in our carbon-foot print.