Laundry. We all love the smell of freshly washed clothes, the warmth of a towel out of a dryer. The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry each year. But with all that laundry, comes a cost.
In 2010, a study by the Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences found that "residential laundry, which traditionally includes washing (0.9%), drying (5.8%), and water heating (1.59%), contributed 8.29% of the total residential sector emissions (EIA 2004)." The study estimated that the United States residential laundry emits 179 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, which was equivalent to the full energy usages and emissions of 21 million homes.
This doesn't mean that we have to stop washing our clothes, but it does mean that we can do better to lessening our impact on the planet when we need to do our laundry. Here are some simple changes you can make for more eco-friendly laundry.
ONLY WASH WHEN NEEDED
Reduce your water use by reusing or rewearing before washing. For instance, unless soiled, denim doesn't need to be washed after each use. Tip : Nomadix towels are funk free so you only need to wash when necessary.
90% of energy a washing machine uses, goes towards heating water. Tip : Use the "tap cold" or the coldest setting available to lessen your carbon footprint.
AIR DRY IF POSSIBLE
Dryers are the biggest culprit using five to ten times more emissions than washing machines. Tip : If you can, air dry as much as possible to save loads of energy. If that isn't an option, dry on low heat.
These are just a few tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint. What are other ways that you try to lessen your impact?
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