Laundry is one of my favorite chores. I get to toss my clothes in the wash, then do something else for 40 minutes while the machine cleans my clothes. It's like magic. However, there's a dark side to this magic.
Textiles are the largest known source of marine microplastic pollution. Scientists estimate there is 2.2 million tons of the microplastic pollution in the world's oceans from textiles. They believe laundry is a significant source of that pollution. That's not even talking about the plastic jugs or toxic chemicals in traditional laundry detergents and fabric softeners.
How do we combat plastic pollution and keep our clothes clean? I'm glad you asked. There are a few options you might want to try on for size.
The Cora Ball both catches fibers in washing machine water and reduces the amount of fibers released from clothing in the wash - which increases the life of your garments and home textiles! The Cora Ball is effective at reducing 31% of the microfibers that would otherwise flow out of the washing machine from an entire load of wash.
Pro Tip: Do not use with lacy or delicate clothing unless you put that clothing in a protective bag. The Cora Ball can (and does) catch on straps or loose strings.
If you're looking for other ways to reduce the amount of microplastics being shed into the water supply, I would look into a protective laundry bag or a microfiber filter.
These are a great sustainable swap if you love laundry (and dishwasher!) pods. They come in several different scents, they are super convenient, and they are an eco-conscious company. They ship products straight to your door with carbon neutral shipping AND plastic-free packaging. I use these products personally, and I love them.
I have seen laundry sheets gaining popularity over the past couple of years and now you can donate to ocean conservation just by purchasing laundry detergent. This package comes with 60 loads worth of sheets. They are fragrance free, dye free, plastic free, and super easy to use. No measuring, no mess, and 5% gives back to the Ocean Conservancy.
Tossing 3 to 6 wool dryer balls in the dryer helps cut down on the time it takes for your clothes to dry. The balls bounce around in the dryer helping the air travel through the clothes. Wool is a "thirsty material" meaning it will absorb water from your clothes.
For a little extra smell good, you can put essential oils on the dryer balls before tossing them in the machine.
How long do they last? Good question, I have no idea. I've used my set of 6 wool dryer balls for 3 years now and they are still going strong.
Hang Clothes to Dry
This is always another option. This is the super eco-friendly way to dry your clothes. I always love how my clothes smell like outside when I use this option.