You'll save money with these eco-friendly, sustainable laundry tips!
0. Wash less
The best way to reduce environmental impact and save on energy is to reduce the amount of laundry you do in the first place. Many clothes, like jeans, can be worn multiple times before requiring a wash. Also, spot-cleaning for small stains can increase the life of your garments.
Remember: the washing machine is slowly breaking down fabrics, so doing less laundry will help your clothes last longer.
1. Cut down water use per garment
Water is one of the most costly resources used for laundry. Depending on where you live in the US, you can be spending up to $0.43 per load just on water according the this Energy Star survey. Additionally, in places that are experiencing droughts more frequently, it is imperative to conserve water resources.
Here's how to manage your water use:
- Wash with full or at least 3/4 full loads. Full loads use less water per garment AND produce less microfiber pollution by reducing the amount of friction on your clothes.
- Use a delicates bag, not the delicate setting. The delicate setting consumes extra water, so you are better off using a delicates bag within a full load of laundry. The same goes for the quick wash setting - unless you have no other option, it's better to wait to have a full load of laundry.
- Front-loading washing machines are much more water-efficient than top-loading machines. When it's time to get a new washing machine, choose an efficient front-loading model to save in the long run.
2. Use cold water settings
The energy used to heat tap water up to the "warm" or "hot" water level is another big energy consumer, costing up to $0.69 each load. Use "cold" or "tap cold" settings and you will also be reducing the amount of fibers shedding off your clothes in the wash. (Even the "cold" setting may increase the water temperature if your tap water is particularly cold.)
3. Use the right detergent
Not all detergents are equal. Powder detergent, though not shipping water weight and can be found in cardboard packaging, also causes more fiber shedding in the washing machine than liquid detergent or concentrated detergent sheets.
Natural detergents made without dyes and harsh chemicals cost the same or even less than many of the most well-known brands. The MamaP detergent sheets cost just 20 cents/load (Tide pods are 48+ cents), so it will feel food to make the switch!
DO: check that your detergent is made to work in HE (High Efficiency) washing machines and with both cold and hot water settings.
4. Use Cora Ball
Ok, we may be biased, but hear us out! Cora Ball not only prevents microfibers from escaping the wash, but it is also reducing fibers shedding from your clothes. This protects your clothes from going threadbare and helps them last longer. Cora Ball lasts for 5+ years (2500+ loads of laundry), and the investment to protect your clothes and the planet is worth 1.6 cents per load.
5. Air dry whenever you can
Electric dryers are a big energy burner and one hour of drying can cost 24-72 cents in the US. Dryers are also big source of microfiber pollution directly into our environment. By hang-drying your laundry, you help them last longer and directly save on your energy bill each month.
6. Use dryer balls
Let's be real, not all clothes and home textiles can be hung out to dry and some of us simply don't have the space, time, or weather (we are in Vermont... winter snow, anyone?). Single-use dryer sheets cost about 4 cents each load. Wool dryer balls are a natural, brilliant alternative to single-use dryer sheets to soften your clothes in the tumble dryer, reduce static, speed up your drying cycle. These dryer balls don't wear out, and in 10 years the cost per load will be 0.03 cents (or $0.0003!), a savings of $186!
7. Rethink packaging
Decide before you buy to pick the smallest, most sustainable packaging option available. Choose ultra concentrated detergent and a stain soap bar in paperboard packaging instead of the liquid versions that ship water weight in plastic tubes or jugs.
The Cora Ball team selected the best products inside-and-out for our Sustainable Laundry Bundle to make the switch easy and save you money!