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Understanding the Environmental Impact of Doing Your Laundry 3

Environmental consequences, risks, and issues of doing laundry.


Doing your laundry can have a negative impact on the planet, here are some of the things that can cause a problem.


You might think putting on a load of washing has little impact, but you would be wrong. The chances are that how you do things is contributing to a big problem globally. Let us explain the environmental impact of doing your laundry.


Commercial detergents are full of nasty chemicals and synthetic ingredients that are not great for the environment. These heavy metals, foaming agents, cleaners, and toxic chemicals end up going down the drain and subsequently entering the waterways. Most of these ingredients pose significant threats to wildlife, sealife, and flora, as well as us humans. Opting for a natural, sustainable, eco-friendly laundry product such as eco wash power that doesn’t contain these harsh chemicals is a far better alternative and eco friendly choice that will benefit us all in the long run.


Some 60% of plastic particles found in waterways can be attributed to laundry. The particles of plastic that break off synthetic clothing when it is washed, then breaks down into even smaller pieces that flow in the water and can even waft in the air. These microplastics are bad for fish, wildlife, and humans and we need to do more to stop how much we are pumping into the environment. Using a reusable laundry bag to put your synthetic items in while you wash them is one of the most effective sustainable, eco friendly steps you can take, when its comes to eco-friendly laundry.

Energy use

Doing laundry takes up a lot of energy- as much as 130,000 watts of energy each year for the average family of four. Not only does this cost a lot but if your energy isn’t coming from a renewable or clean source like solar or hydro, then this is having a negative impact on the planet. You can take steps such as wearing clothes more than once (it’s fine honestly), ensuring you do a full load, turning the temperature to below 40 degrees, and letting things air dry once you are done. Also make sure you have an energy-efficient washing machine, and if you don’t, get one. These simple changes will have a significant impact towards living a more natural, eco-friendly, sustainable life.

Water consumption

The average washing machine uses at least 51,000 litres of water every single year. To give that some context- that is as much water as you will drink in an entire lifetime. This water takes energy to clean, process, pump, and to be fed into your washing machine. It then takes more energy to be used, before it ends up going down the drain. Water costs money and providing and preparing it to be used costs money also, as well as taking a significant toll on the environment. A simple eco friendly, sustainable tip is to wait until you have a larger load to wash so you are not washing as frequently.

Excess packaging

Many of the laundry soaps and conditioners we use come in plastic packets. Some even come in plastic sachets, within plastic packets which makes the situation even worse. Using eco-friendly laundry products and natural, eco wash powers that are reusable, refillable, or come in recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging is a great solution to this problem. At Peace With The Wild we have a great selection of natural, vegan, cruelty free, chemical free, sustainable, zero waste, eco-friendly laundry products, and eco wash powders that are all supplied in plastic free, eco friendly packaging! 


  1. HI. Great article.
    2 quick commenta.
    I think you mean watt hours not watts. Sorry to be a pedant but people with science background will be put off.
    Ive taken to running my wash at 1am. I realise not everyone can do this because of the noise or not having a delay function in the machine, but if you can it is way off peak for use. This means that if its windy they have surplus electricity and wind turbine companies actually have to pay to produce it. Therefore if you use electric at that time of day the electric is often free to the planet (but not you). It also means renewable energy companies get paid more (or even just paid) and so your actions have a double positive.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your kind comment.we appreciate any feedback and corrections !

      I never knew this about electricity ! that is incredibly useful to know and also very interesting.

      Thank you for your feedback

  2. Hi Mark,
    Just a question which others may be wondering about.
    Is there a danger of an electrical fault which could start a fire if setting the machine to work at night?
    Also does electricity cost less at night for those who do not have a smart meter?

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