Every year, Americans do a whopping 35 billion loads of laundry. This means that more than one billion laundry jugs are discarded every year in the United States alone. For obvious reasons, this is problematic. Just imagine all of those large bottles taking up space in landfills! Fortunately, zero waste laundry detergent is here to save the laundry day.
Dirty Facts About Dirty Laundry
Laundry detergent containers are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). While this is the most common type of plastic and is often used for milk gallons and water jugs, it’s not recycled as often as it should be. In fact, it’s estimated that just 30% is recycled, with the remaining 70% crowding landfills or escaping into our environment to pollute waterways.
Even with laundry detergent purchased in a box, it often still comes lined in plastic, with a plastic scoop and handle. Because of its shape or the fact that cardboard is blended with plastic, it makes it difficult to recycle these, too. So then what is one to do?
As tempting as it is to avoid laundry days for the rest of our lives, many zero waste laundry detergent solutions have emerged in recent years.
5 Zero Waste Laundry Detergent Solutions
Perhaps the biggest name in laundry detergent strips, Tru Earth revolutionized how we deal with loads of dirty clothes. Making laundry day easier and far more eco-friendly, their ultra-concentrated strips use biodegradable, vegan, and hypoallergenic ingredients. You won’t find the following in these strips:
- Added dyes
- Chlorine bleach
- Animal-based ingredients or testing
The Canadian company also uses plastic-free compostable or recyclable packaging. Additionally, because the strips are free of water, they’re lightweight—cutting transportation emissions by 94% when compared with leading-brand liquid and powder detergents!
Providing a people- and planet-friendly laundry option, Meliora makes laundry powder that is both effective and environmentally-friendly. Choose between Unscented, Lavender, Lemon, or Lemon-Lavender-Clove—all of which are made from certified organic essential oils, never fragrance. Additionally, the laundry powder is free from:
- Animal-based ingredients and cruelty
The laundry powder is also MADE SAFE certified, meaning that it’s free of more than 6,500 dangerous ingredients. The paper packaging is compostable and the included metal measuring spoon is reusable or recyclable.
With both laundry detergent and fabric softener, Dropps is a good laundry room companion. Their laundry detergent pods have true cleaning power, all packed into a single pod. The clean, plant-based ingredients are effective at removing stubborn stains, keeping colors bold and bright, and ensuring that clothes smell fresh. They never contain:
- Artificial colorants
- Synthetic fragrance
- Animal cruelty
Even better, since Dropps emerged into the laundry scene, they’ve prevented more than 3,000,000 plastic containers from being created! Instead, the pods are boxed in compostable packaging.
Kind Laundry also did the unthinkable with their sustainable laundry detergent sheets! Each sheet is packed with plant-derived ingredients, making them not only great for reducing waste, but also steering clear of toxins. In fact, the unscented version has just five simple ingredients, meaning that they’re free from:
- Animal byproducts
- Optical brighteners
- Artificial colors
- Synthetic fragrances
Their cardboard packaging is 100% recyclable. By using this over the span of a lifetime, a household could prevent a possible 1,530 plastic containers from being produced! That’s around 15 to 18 plastic jugs every year.
For DIY laundry detergent without actually making it, Bestowed Essentials is the brand to turn to. Why? Because it’s made with just four simple, easy-to-pronounce ingredients. It’s safe to use with HE machines, doesn’t fade fabrics, and is totally hypoallergenic and kid-friendly. The laundry powder doesn’t contain:
- Artificial colors
- Palm oil
- Animal-based products or cruelty
The neurodivergent-female-veteran-owned social enterprise uses compostable packaging. They also provide jobs for people who face barriers to employment.
Zero Waste Laundry Practices
More than 2.41 million tons of plastic waste enter the oceans annually, and 94% of this is microplastics! To make your laundry day even more zero waste, consider taking the following steps to reduce the amount of microplastics released during washing:
- Use something to capture microfibers, like the Cora Ball
- Air dry if possible, or use wool dryer balls to reduce dryer time and naturally soften clothes
- Help to extend the life of delicates and sensitive reusables by using an organic cotton laundry bag
Ultimately, every time we wash our clothes, it reduces their lifespan and uses water and electricity. For clothes that aren’t in direct contact with skin (underwear, socks, and bras), try to go a few wears between washes. Not only will this save your clothes and our planet, but it means less time spent in the laundry room!
To help you on your zero waste laundry journey, use code BLOG10 and save 10% on your first order!
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