26 Jan 2023

World Environmental Education Day

Four easy ways to reduce the environmental impact of our laundry

Today is the World Environmental Education Day, and we talk to Roser Zapata, our Laundry Business Expert at Girbau LAB, who shares with us four easy ways to reduce the environmental impact of our laundry.

1. Save water and energy: Do complete washes or use smaller capacity programs.

We often think that the key to caring for the environment is to reduce the washing temperature, but, in terms of energy efficiency and washing, here are two mistakes that we keep making:

The first one is to underuse the capacity of the washing machine, carrying out long washes with small amounts of clothes. If we were to calculate the consumptions per garment, these would be very high in terms of water and energy.

The second mistake is not sorting the clothes, and mixing clothes with different degrees of dirt. It often leads us to select the most intense program to ensure that the clothes will come out clean, but we are not aware that this leads to an unnecessary increase in consumption in most garments.

Almost all domestic washing machines come with short wash programs or programs for small loads; we recommend using these options when we do not have a sufficient wash load for a normal program.

2. Use the right amount of detergent. Don’t overdose!

Did you know that detergent dosing is a key factor?

Detergent manufacturers have developed modern detergents that are more environmentally friendly. Basically, they contain more natural components and are more concentrated, reducing the volume for transport. But this higher concentration is unknown to consumers and even today we still overdose, in many cases doubling the necessary dosage. Let’s use just enough and we will reduce the impact of the laundry.

3. Wash only the clothes that need to be washed. Why wash more?

As we noted, we put a lot of focus on reducing the temperature used for washing. The fact is that we only use hot water for heavily soiled laundry and, in general, the volume of heavily soiled laundry is low.

You’ll probably know that the most commonly washed kind of laundry at home is personal clothing. These clothes are usually washed in cold water or at a very low temperature. They are usually lightly soiled clothes that we treat as if they were very dirty and that we wash very often, even if they are not dirty at all.

Sometimes it is worth reflecting on whether the clothes we wash daily really need to be washed, or if we are simply automating this action without thinking enough, sending clothes to the laundry basket without checking them first.

A second recommendation is to wash personal clothes as delicates, with short programs and with specific detergents for delicates. It has been shown that intense programs with general detergents release much more microplastics than delicate laundry processes. So this is probably a very good option.

4. Do you use a dryer? Then, clean the filter!

The most environmentally friendly way to dry clothes is to air dry them. But day-to-day life, rushing, urban life and the weather sometimes don’t make it easy. In case of using dryers, the most effective way to reduce drying time and therefore reduce the energy bill is to pre-clean the filter. A quick, simple and really effective gesture: as easy as that!

With just these four little tips, we can start creating big changes.

Happy World Environmental Education Day!