Tips to save both water and energy when doing the laundry

Laundry – not many of us enjoy doing it. But… it must be done (unless you’re the type of mum who wouldn’t mind her child going to school with pasta sauce and paint stains on their jumper everyday!). But besides the boring chore that it is, there are also other factors to consider – like saving on water and energy. Because, let’s face it, if you’ve got kids (or even one kid) there will ALWAYS be a laundry pile waiting for you…

There are a number of simple practices that can be adopted in order to minimise both the water and energy that’s consumed as you get your clothes clean. It’s important that at least one or two of the practices highlighted below are implemented in your home – experts have repeatedly warned of a water shortage that could affect millions or maybe even billions of people around the world in the future, and the energy that’s used in pumping out water from sources such as lakes and rivers, as well as in its treatment and distribution, originates from not-so-good sources.



Things You Can Do To Save Water and Energy in the Laundry

* Use either warm or cold water, not hot water, when washing your clothes. Much of the energy that is used in washing machines is used to heat the water. If you’re worried cold water won’t work as well, just get detergents that work in cold water. These have different ingredients which are as effective as regular detergents that are mixed in hot water.

* Get a washing machine with an Energy Star label. An Energy Star washing machine uses the exact amount of water that is needed for the amount of clothes you will be washing. Such machines use less water as a whole since they rinse the clothes by spraying them with water instead of soaking them. Since they bear the Energy Star label, you are sure that they will use lesser energy compared to other machines without this label.

* The washing machine should only be used for big loads or a full load. While that small laundry pile can feel overwhelming to you, you are better off waiting for that pile to become larger or for that pile to weigh as much as the full load of the washing machine before you wash it. By doing so, less water is used in a specific period.

* Reuse the shower towel a number of times until a week has passed. There is no need to bring out a new towel after every shower taken. You are already clean the moment you step out the shower, so right after you dry off, hang up the towel to dry. By the time it will need to be used again, it will have dried completely.

If you’re looking for proof that this is a good practice to implement, look no further than the hotels or hotel chains within your city—all of them ask guests to hang up towels for reuse, as their management also believes doing so is considerate to the environment.

* Don’t wash clothing unless necessary. Some clothes can be worn twice or more times a week. By wearing these clothes at least twice before you toss them down the clothes hamper, you cut down on water use in your laundry by a significant amount.

* Use rainwater to do your laundry. There are three things involved to do this. The first is catching rainwater using a roof that is connected to a rainwater harvesting system. The second is filtering and purifying the rainwater collected so that it can be suitable for use in the laundry room. The third is, of course, using the collected rainwater to do the laundry, following the points highlighted in the guide to doing the laundry using rainwater.

How does the use of rainwater to do the laundry allow you to save both water and energy? Rainwater use in the laundry room helps save water by making you less dependent on mains water, which is the water that is provided by either the government or a big company in your area. Thia practice helps save energy as well as it eventually reduces the need for water companies to use energy sourced from fossil fuels to pump out, treat, and distribute water. The latter is especially true if there are many people in an area using rainwater for different chores.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post


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