Are you trying to live a zero-waste life? Whether you are a beginner or have been in the zero-waste zone for a while, this article is going to be super beneficial for you.
For sustainable souls like us, conventional detergents are definitely a big no. The amount of harmful chemicals are extremely harmful to humans and the environment. Not to mention the unnecessary plastic jugs filling up our landfills and destroying the aquatic ecosystem.
These detergents contain phosphates which build up in waterways and lead to eutrophication – big algae blooms that can deplete the water of oxygen and kill off fish.
Thankfully, our eco-friendly laundry concentrates are crafted with both safe ingredients and mindful packaging that will actually clean your clothes! And save the environment as well.
Refrain from using dryers as much as possible:
Using an electric dryer is not really eco-friendly. The energy use of an electric dryer can vary between 1800 watts to 5000 watts, but a typical dryer uses about 3000 watts. I usually leave my clothes out in the sun to dry out, this way I am able to save all that energy from being wasted, unless it’s monsoon season.
Another downside of using dryers is that they are really harsh on your clothing. It can cause it to shrink, fade, and even lose strength. So, by not using the drier not only are you following an eco-friendly routine, but also extending the life of your clothes as well.
So, here’s our effective guide to a zero-waste laundry routine
Dial down on your laundry loads:
Before we get into the nitty gritties of using a zero-waste laundry detergent, it’s important to chat about the bigger picture of creating a more eco-friendly laundry routine. Did you know that 39% of a garment’s environmental impact comes from washing, drying, and consumer care?
So really the bigger picture here is that we need to have a positive environmental impact and in order to do that we need to take better care of the clothing we own and that starts with wearing, repairing, and washing less.
We tend to wash our clothes frequently, but ideally we should only wash our clothes when they’re actually dirty and not after everytime we wear them.
That however depends on what I like to call a stinky test.
If my clothes are stinking, then I simply hang it up and let some sunlight get into it. Airing out clothes and hanging them under the sun allows oxygen to surround the item which keeps fabric fresh and ready to be put back in a drawer or closet. This only applies to clothes and not socks or undergarments, gym wear etc.
Beware of Microplastics:
Laundry is possibly one of the major causes of microplastics in our water. It’s a big issue and we should be mindful of it. Each time you wash synthetic clothing it sheds microfibers with each wash, which enters our waterways. Many people these days use microfiber laundry balls to catch microfibers while doing their laundry. It is definitely worth the investm
Make sure your laundry detergent doesn’t have the following ingredients in them:
Greenwashing is real, so even if you are buying an eco-friendly product make sure that the following ingredients are avoided.
sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate: It’s bad news for your skin, eyes and lungs, damaging internal organs plus they are super toxic in the environment as well.
phosphates: Upon entering our waterways they cause, mineral poisoning that kills marine animals at an alarming rate.
formaldehyde: Increases your risk of cancer, and causes acute toxicity when it comes in contact with skin.
dyes: The main cause of allergies and rashes – may cause hormonal imbalances as well.
chlorine bleach: Potential invitation to partial or complete blindness, burning of the eyes, respiratory failure and fluid in the lungs.
optical brighteners/ uv brighteners: Toxic to both humans and marine animals. Can combust as well.
nonylphenol ethoxylate: Cause cancer and reproductive disorders, in addition to damaging the eyes and skin. Extremely toxic for aquatic animals.
ammonium sulfate: This is probably the most toxic laundry additive that there are regulations that don’t allow it to be emptied in drains or waterways, because it’s extremely toxic for the skin and organs.
dioxane: Causes skin, eye and lung inflammation.
dichlorobenzene: Highly toxic for aquatic life and can also irritate the nose and throat causing coughing and wheezing, along with headaches, dizziness and even vomiting.
ammonium quaternary sanitizers: This ‘cleaning additive’ is known to be corrosive and can cause eye, lung and skin damage.
benzyl acetate: Harmful and attacks the nervous system as well as the kidneys.
Benefits of using our Zero Waste Laundry Detergent:
Cardboard packaged paste is cheaper than a bottle in cost and environmental damage.
Over 14,000 US tons of plastic containers and packaging was produced in 2018 and under 2 US tons of that was recycled. It has been estimated that over 1 billion laundry detergent bottles are disposed of every year in just the USA alone! You can do better for yourself and the environment with your purchases like choosing from the Tangie line of household cleaning and body products.
No Fragrance or Essential Oils added.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is not a clinical diagnosis yet, but close to 13% of adults in the USA have been diagnosed with MCS and are experiencing negative physical reactions to certain chemicals, many from those found in plastics and perfumes. 1
According to Johns Hopkin Medicine, MCS is “a medical disorder triggered by exposures to chemicals, electromagnetic forces, or other environmental triggers. This often begins with a short-term, severe chemical exposure, such as a chemical spill, or a longer-term exposure. It is reported that once exposed, low levels of chemicals found in everyday materials, such as soaps, detergents, cosmetics, and newspaper inks, can trigger physical symptoms in people with multiple chemical sensitivities.