Making Laundry Sustainable

Laundry is an essential part life, whether it is done using your own machines or going to the laundromat. At my home, my family works to make doing the laundry as environmentally friendly as possible.

We try to create a full load of laundry to reduce the amount of water we use weekly/monthly. A full load maximizes the use of the washing machine and drying machine without using extra water and electricity. When there is no full load of clothes, we add in extra items like towels and bed sheets so that the laundry is done efficiently and effectively.

Speaking of laundry machines, my family has a front-load washing machine. This type of machine we have found to be the most environmentally conscious because they use much less water and electricity when compared to a top-load washing machine. The front-loading machine also encourages a full load of laundry to be done, as under loading or overloading it results in less clean laundry than a full load.

To finish off the laundry, it has to be dried. This is usually done, if the weather allows, outside on my family’s clothes line. The clothes line works best when the sun is shining and the air is dry, and to get these ideal conditions, we try to hang our laundry out as early in the morning as we can so it has ample time to dry. I really like the smell of clothes dried on the line!

The clothesline is not always the most efficient way to dry laundry, however; I sometimes have to use the dryer because of the time of year, my school schedule, or the time it takes to hang up laundry. Rain and other types of inclement weather can also affect the drying power of the clothesline, so instead of always using the dryer as an alternative, we use an indoor rack to hang laundry. This system has the added bonus of working as a humidifier for the house during the dry winter months as water evaporates off of the clothes.

My brother and I do our own laundry, and while it may not be the most fun task, it needs to be done. I like doing it as sustainably as I can.