3 Ways You Can Help the Environment on Laundry Day
We've heard the term so often that we take it for granted. Merriam-Webster defines eco-friendly as "not environmentally harmful." That's a pretty broad definition, but it works.
We all want to help preserve and protect our planet for future generations, so today, let's focus on some things you can do now to do help specifically on laundry day. You'll make a difference, feel good about it, and save money in the process!
THE PROBLEM WITH PLASTICS
The typical four-person household runs about five loads of laundry each week, amounting to approximately 260 loads every year, per family. Since most people are still using plastic containers of detergent and fabric softener, it isn’t surprising that it all adds up quickly.
In fact, over 30 billion (that’s with a “b”) loads of laundry are done each year in North America, leading to about 900 million laundry jugs thrown out in the United States alone. After that, only an estimated 25 percent of the high-density polyethylene (HPDE) jugs get recycled. The remaining 75 percent ends up in landfills or as litter.
A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute, with that number expected to increase another 20% by 2021. Packaging is the predominant use of plastics globally, accounting for 42 percent, or 146 million tons, in 2016. Enough plastic gets thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times.
IN THE UNITED STATES
Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year. Only about 25% of the plastic produced in the U.S. is recycled. Plastic takes up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill. To be clear, these are not all laundry detergent or softener bottles, but just laying out the magnitude of the problem we face helps us understand it better.
WHAT ABOUT RECYCLING?
Here are some ways that recycling helps:
One ton of recycled plastic saves:
If we recycled the other 75%, we could save 1 billion gallons of oil and 44 million cubic yards of landfill space annually.
POSTPONING, NOT PREVENTING
However, while recycling is an essential step in the right direction, plastics typically degrade in quality during the recycling process, so most are only suitable for recycling one time.
And while North America accounts for only 1% of the problem, the numbers are staggering nonetheless.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD
Before you get too discouraged, here are three simple things you can do to help protect the environment, save money, and even enjoy a happier and easier laundry day!
1. Eliminate Plastic Jugs of Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener
It’s truly amazing when you stop and look at the numbers, so anything we can do to reduce the overall waste, including recycling, is helpful. But what about eliminating the need for plastic containers altogether, beginning with laundry detergent?
Impossible, you say? Not at all.
The future is here!
This is all done in the washing machine with our washer balls, so if you like to hang your delicates or other items up to dry, you don’t need to worry about how you’re going to soften them.
Looking at our earlier estimate of approximately 260 loads every year for a family of four, you can see that each washer ball will last a minimum of four years. For a family of two, you’re looking at a minimum of eight years, and so on.
They also eliminate the need for liquid fabric softener, which we’ll get to shortly.
Just think of the savings on plastic alone, then on how you’ll save on:
2. Eliminate Harmful Laundry Detergent Ingredients
How do our washer balls work?
Each ball contains a soft, smooth, non-toxic outer ceramic shell that is gentle on your clothing and your washing machine. Sealed inside are several types of little ceramic balls with specific properties that work together to break down and lift the dirt, stains, mold, and more, ensuring your laundry comes out fresh and clean.
All thanks to the stain removal technology of those little bioceramic balls.
3. Eliminate Fabric Softener Containers and Ingredients
Eliminating liquid fabric softener will prevent harmful ingredients from entering and polluting the environment.
We’ve already discussed plastic fabric softener jugs. Now, what about those little boxes of fabric softener sheets?
While boxes of dryer sheets (and the sheets themselves) take up less room and biodegrade faster than jugs of liquid softener in your laundry room and the landfill, they still contain harmful chemicals that reach both.
There are better, safer, and less expensive ways to soften your laundry.
Plastic packaging accounts for nearly half of the plastics in use globally. Approximately 900 million jugs of laundry products are thrown out every year in the United States, but only 25 percent are recycled. So, while it’s not news that plastic is harmful to our environment, anything we can do to reduce or eliminate their use will make a difference.
The best and most effective way to solve this problem in the laundry room is to completely eliminate the plastic jugs of detergent and fabric softener, substituting with natural and effective products and packaging.
Visit us today to get started saving time, money, and the environment!