Now that we have helped you eliminate waste in the kitchen, let’s turn our attention to the laundry room. If kitchen plastic waste seemed like a lot, the laundry room is even sneakier when it comes to waste. From pollution-heavy and carcinogenic-filled dryer sheets to bulky, plastic detergent containers, there are tons of easily sustainable switches that are better for the planet and your health.
Nearly 1 billion plastic laundry containers are used in the United States annually, and only a mere 30% are recycled. This leaves 700 million in landfills. It’s time to ditch the plastic and look for a more sustainable solution.
Not only are the plastics used in many laundry products harmful, but so are those dryer sheets! They have a hefty carbon footprint and are hazardous to your health. According to Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health studies, dryer sheets are linked to respiratory illnesses, asthma, and cancer. The dryer vent actually emits carcinogens, which can be increased based on a level of fragrance. Don’t worry, we have a great dryer sheet substitute that’s even cuter!
In addition to replacing unnecessary plastic and harmful dryer sheets, we can save our ocean life with just one simple environmentally-friendly product. Just one load of laundry can produce up to one million micro-plastics. The term micro-plastics may be misleading, but a lot of our water is recycled back into rivers and oceans, where micro-plastics are easily ingested by marine animals. In fact, we consume one credit card’s worth of plastic per week. Nearly 35% of all the microplastics in our ocean are attributed to laundry.
The Simply Co. Laundry Detergent
Check out this package-free, organic, non-toxic detergent. Snag it in lavender or unscented and enjoy for up to 60 loads of dirty clothes.
If you like to DIY, check out this detergent recipe and pop your finished product in a labeled mason jar.
Verde Stain Stick Bar
There is a zero-waste alternative to the tried and true Tide stick. This package-free coconut oil stain stick is here to rescue you from embarrassment when you spill tomato sauce on your white shirt or even those pesky red wine stains that never seem to come out. All you have to do is wet it with a little water, rub it on your accident, and toss it in the washer with your new sustainable laundry detergent.
Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls
We want our clothes to come out soft and lint-free. These wool dryer balls do just that, but with fun prints. The wool balls decrease dry time by 20%! Try adding one to two drops of your favorite essential oil to the wet clothes.
If you want to minimize your impact, even more, consider hang-drying your clothes with these bamboo clothespins.
Terra Thread Organic Cotton Laundry Bag
This 100% organic cotton laundry bag makes your laundry trip stylish and sustainable. It is Fair Trade cotton certified, comes package-free, and is 100% recyclable.
Guppyfriend Washing Bag
An easy solution to keeping those little pieces of fabric from the bellies of our beloved ocean life is to wash your clothes in a washing bag. Made of untreated polyamide, this bag not only keeps microplastics out but also increases the lifetime of your synthetic fiber clothing.
Reducing your carbon footprint again is no easy feat. Let’s help each other out. Tag us on Instagram @yhmmagazine and share your eco-friendly tips for the home with us.