Each year, over 700 million plastic laundry jugs are dumped into landfills across North America. Did you know that about 90% of your detergent is actually water? That’s right, and it makes no sense to transport all this water and condition it into so much plastic when it will end up in your washer. The extra weight and space needed to transport these jugs are limiting the quantity that can fit into trucks, which means more trucks on the roads contributing to climate change. In addition, only about 9% of plastic actually gets recycled, and it could take up to 1,000 years to decompose!
Detergent jugs also contain lots of chemicals not so great for your health or for our planet, including phosphate, dyes, formaldehyde, and more. The most common, yet most dangerous ones are sodium lauryl sulfate, 1,4 dioxane, and nonylphenol ethoxylated.
What can you do?
Trading your laundry detergent jugs for waterless detergent sheets is a great option. Detergent sheets are very easy to use and dissolve in cold or hot water, they are concentrated and premeasured, so no more mess spilling your detergent everywhere! They are also powerful enough to remove stains and contain no harmful chemicals. Some brands offer biodegradable and compostable packaging that is easy to store and will save you a ton of space in your laundry room.
There are many brands for you to choose from, but if you need a reference, at Brighten we use Earth Breeze detergent sheets. They are paraben, phthalate, and phosphate free, vegan and cruelty-free, bleach and dye-free, hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested, and work with any washing machine. Their packaging is 100% biodegradable and compostable.
How can you take it a step further?
If you are already using laundry detergent sheets and would like to reduce your carbon footprint even further, you also have the option to trade both your laundry softener and dryer sheets for wool dryer balls. You can toss a few of these balls when drying your laundry to soften it naturally and dry your laundry faster, saving some energy! Most are made from 100% wool, with no chemicals or synthetics used, and can last for more than 1,000 loads! Loohoo dryer balls are one of the many great options using domestic wool.
Many of our everyday needs can be replaced with sustainable products that will reduce our carbon footprint and help our planet. Small steps such as trading detergent jugs for sheets, added to other small steps in our routines can have a great impact. It can even influence our friends and family to start a more sustainable lifestyle, so feel free to share these tips with your loved ones!