Everyone knows that washing on 30 degrees and drying your clothing naturally is far better for the environment than hot washes and tumble dryers. But, did you know that laundry detergent causes plastic waste as it usually comes in single-use plastic bottles?
Plastic waste is a global issue as we all need to move away from single-use plastic to stop the oceans from literally drowning in the stuff. The detergent in the bottle can have a negative impact both on the environment and on your health!
This week we look at the environmental impacts of detergent and some easy ways that you can reduce your footprint.
Many detergents contain some compounds that have negative effects on our environment.
When phosphate-containing laundry or dish detergents reach the water table, they can harm both plant and animal life.
The nitrogen in these detergents reacts with the phosphorus in the water to produce nutrients that promote the growth of algae in freshwater. This algae growth depletes the water of oxygen and eventually destroys the ecosystem there.
Detergents can also contain surfactants, or surface-active agents, which are chemicals that reduce the surface tension of oil and water.
These surfactants help dirt “lift-off” and stay out of clothing when used in detergent.
The problem is that they are also extremely toxic to aquatic life.
In fact, surfactants, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), break down the mucus layer that coats fish, protecting them from parasites and bacteria.
They also reduce water surface tension, making it easier for pollutants and pesticides to be absorbed by waterways.
If that wasn’t enough, many mainstream laundry detergents also contain harmful chemicals that can harm your health.
These unwanted health side effects can range from skin and throat irritations to cancers.
So, what can you do to reduce your impact when it comes to the environmental impact of laundry detergent?
One thing to do is look for companies that are innovating with sustainable alternatives.
A really good place to start is a fantastic article by Sophie Hirsh from Green Matters which looks at some of the most innovative zero-waste laundry products on the market.
Who knew there were so many innovative laundry products out there!
One of Play It Green’s favourite products does away with the need for detergent at all.
Awarded the Good Housekeeping Institute’s ‘Getting Greener’ accreditation, the ‘EcoEgg’ saves the average family from buying around 40 bottles of laundry detergent per year.
The Laundry Egg case is BPA-free and recyclable and its pellets are free of palm oil, SLS or SLES, parabens, petrochemicals, enzymes, phosphates, and microplastics.
It is a complete replacement for laundry detergent and fabric conditioner and works without the use of harmful chemicals.
The Egg contains mineral pellets that lift away dirt without fading colours or leaving chemical residue on clothing.
It is also recyclable.
This great product is also non-biological, has been tested on people with sensitive skin, and has received the ‘excellent’ rating from Dermatest.
EcoEgg never tests on animals and their products are not harmful to aquatic life because they contain no harmful chemicals so they provide a fantastic vegan eco-friendly laundry solution.
To help you take another step to a more sustainable future, EcoEgg has kindly given everyone the chance to lower their footprint and save some money.
Special Offer: Simply head over to the EcoEgg website and subscribe to their e-newsletter to get 10% off.
‘Innovation is one of the ways that we will solve the issue of climate change. Products like EcoEgg are fantastic. One of our goals at Play It Green is to make more people aware that innovations such as this are available so that we can help everyone we can to lower their footprint.’
Richard Dickson – Co Founder, Play It Green
You can lower your footprint, help reforest the planet and take a journey to a sustainable future by subscribing to Play It Green for as little as £1.25/week.