How often do you wash your jeans, and how quickly do they fade, thin or shrink? Or what about the ever-approaching laundry day that suddenly has you liberally filling your laundry basket? These quick, subconscious actions aren’t as inconsequential as you might think. The average household produced 300 loads of laundry a year, at 7.5lbs of carbon emissions per load. Thus, laundry makes up 8% of all residential-sector CO2 emissions, and 19% of energy in the home is dedicated to warming water.
Not only does overwashing and unnecessarily using warm water cause direct consequences, but it also threatens the longevity of your clothing. You often see the disturbing photos of turtles choking on plastic, and miles of ocean covered in waste, but what you don’t see is the microfiber pollution you cause directly. Microfiber pollution has been traced to the shedding of clothing in water waste, or from your laundry machine. Most water is filtered at a 99% effectiveness rate, but at such a high volume, that unfiltered % goes a long way.
There are easy, effective ways to change these facts, and here’s how:
90% of the energy used during laundry comes from heating water. By washing your clothes just 10 degrees celsius less, households can save enough energy to light nine rooms for a full year.
Although high temperatures are needed to kill certain germs, mites, and bugs, not all clothes need such heat and in fact, suffer more because of higher temperatures. For example, when it comes to stains like blood and sweat, hotter temperatures can cause the stains to set more instead of clear. Furthermore, some fabrics are easier to wash in warmer water, like knits and synthetics fabrics, but denim, delicate, dark and colorful fabrics respond better to cold water and reduce the likelihood of shrinking, fading and wrinkling. If every U.S. household used only cold water for washing clothes, 8% of the Kyoto target for the U.S., or 34M tons of carbon dioxide emissions, would be saved. As cold water doesn’t break fabrics down as much, you could down on the 700, 000 microfibers that are released in a single load of laundry.
Try to wash only full loads, and be conscious of how often you are washing certain items. Jeans, dresses, blouses, and bras can do with a few wears before washing. 99 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, on average, would be saved each year by running only full loads of laundry. Even if you can’t do a full load, check your settings to see if you can do half loads instead!
And what about those shrunken jeans or tethered sweaters? Air dry them! Avoid the drying machine whenever you can, saving your clothes and the environment! Using a drying rack or line dryer can help protect the longevity of your clothing as dryers use the second most energy in the household. And even if you don’t only air dry, try using your settings to cut down on drying time. Not only does drying have a massive carbon footprint, but using dryer sheets can also contain harmful chemicals and dangerous disposal.
Washers and dryers are big investments, so pay attention to the energy efficiency and make the smarter investment! When buying, aim to choose a dryer washer that is an Energy Star approved machine. Not only will you save as much as 7,000 gallons of water, but you will also save $370 in operating costs and over $96 per year in energy costs.
Did you know most laundry detergents are up to 80% water? And some contain chemicals like APE’s that can weaken your immune system. Try replacing your usual detergents with laundry strips from brands like Generation Conscious, Tru, or Net Zero that are waterless, toxin-free and allergen-free. Not only do most of these brands cut emissions and water wastage, but they also cut on plastic use with eco-friendly packaging.
Laundry Sustainability is only one of the many simple changes to your lifestyle that go a long way for environmental sustainability and the longevity of clothes. Longevity of clothes is its own form of laundry sustainability, allowing you to cut down on waste and unnecessarily buying the same clothes again. In preserving longevity, you can maximize other users through reselling and swapping! With the saved costs from energy-efficient washers, same philosophies of reusing, and profound impact, you can expand your closet and your trendiness with ALA.HAUSSE!
Via ÀLA.HAUSSE‘s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands ( BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Clossets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.
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