Taking shorter showers and having a glass of water by your side while brushing your teeth may seem a lot, but there are other things you can do in order to avoid water waste at home. Your laundry machine for example is a really big spender and 75 to 80% of our clothes’ lifecycle impact comes from washing and drying. So, here’s 5 simple ways to change it.
Wear it twice (or thrice)
Let’s face it: you know you don’t need to toss every piece of clothing you wear for half a day into the dirty laundry basket, but you keep doing it, right? Well, you shouldn’t. There are a few pieces you can wear more than once – underwear is obviously not included, but what about jeans and sweaters? It takes a lot more than a few hours to make these pieces ready for a new wash and according to the United Nations Environment Programme you can consume up to five times less energy if you wear your jeans at least three times and wash them in cold water.
Cool it down
90% of the energy used by washing machines goes towards heating the water. But there’s no need to wash everything in hot temperatures. Blueberry juice and tomato sauce aren’t that easy to wash of on the cold setting, but regular clothes without dirty stains won’t be a problem! Also, when you wash your clothes in cold water you can skip the usual sorting and mix different colour pieces in one load without accidently dyeing your favourite pieces. And there’s more: washing on cold water is better for your clothes as the cooler temperature keeps fibres from shrinking and fading.
Wash it all at once
It takes a lot of energy for a laundry machine to properly heat, so instead of washing your clothes several times a week, try to do several loads at once. You can take advantage of the leftover heat if you wash a new pile of clothing right after you’ve finished a previous load.
Go green on the detergent
You should choose your cleaning products carefully. Conventional detergents are full with chemicals and phosphates that damage skin, fabrics and the aquatic ecosystems where the dirty water end up. Therefore, look for eco-friendlier and phosphate-free alternatives made with natural ingredients that are gentler for you and the environment. You won’t have problems finding sustainable options online, but if you don’t like none you can always do it yourself at home – check out this 7 minute detergent recipe.
Less (detergent) is more
Did you know that by using too much detergent, your washer can run less efficiently? You can blame the excessive amount of bubbles that’ll make your washer weight more, or you can blame yourself and minimize your detergent use ASAP. The choice is always yours.
Vogue Portugal June 2018 Luca Adamik by Angelo Lamparelli