Lil in the LAUNDRY

Think getting the laundry done is a big enough chore as it is without trying to save the planet at the same time? Well, grab your cape ‘cos we’re on a mission!

Follow our top tips to easily lower your impact, reduce costs and save time in the laundry – win, win, win!

1. Own less clothes and choose durable natural fabrics – only buy what you really need. You’ll get to keep clothes you love longer and they won’t end up in the bin. The U.K. spent an estimated £52 billion on clothes in 2018 and we send 300,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill every year!

2. Wash less – it reduces the wear on your clothes and the amount of plastic microfibres generated and saves electricity and your time – whoop!

Bea Johnson, zero waste guru, gives these tips for reducing washing:

• Have a minimal wardrobe and avoid multiple changes in a day

• Pick fabrics that do not require special laundry care

• Sniff test clothes – do they really need washing or can you wear again?

• Spot clean when needed rather than wash

• Allocate each family member a bath towel to reduce washing

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3. Understand washing symbols and what your clothes are made of and care for your clothes appropriately – they will last longer.

4. Always wait for a full load (but not too full, or it won’t wash well!) - no point running the machine half full.

5. Use an environmentally friendly washing detergent – powder or liquid or switch to soapnuts. Phosphates in many detergents can feed algal blooms in rivers and lakes destroying wildlife. Lil has these options for you.

6. Use less – trial and error will show you just how much (or how little) laundry detergent you actually need in your water area for a satisfactory wash.

7. Avoid plastic or excessive packaging of your detergent – get refills into your own container or a recycled container if you can.

8. Wash clothes at 30 and on a gentler cycle unless they’re really filthy – this will make your clothes last longer and save you money on bills. And slow your spin - though there’s a flip side to that (isn’t there always?) as it can extend the drying time using more energy - ok if your line drying.

9. Don’t wash solid items like shoes or shin guards with your laundry. The mechanical abrasion of the clothes produces larger numbers of microfibres. Stopmicrowaste.com even suggest using washing balls and soap nuts – even though used with good intentions – result in more plastic in the ocean! Meh!

10. Use a washing line or drying rack instead of tumble drier whenever you can to save money on your energy bill and make your clothes last longer. The tumble drier is one of the most energy intensive devices, and it makes clothes fade and fall apart quicker. If you have a condensing tumble dryer the water collected may contain microfibres so don’t empty it down the drain, filter it and use it to water plants or flush toilets. Drying clothes carefully on a rack often means you don’t need to iron them to and we LOVE that!

11. Use a laundry bag to wash synthetic fabrics and filter out the microfibres preventing them heading out into rivers and oceans down your drains. Lil is super excited to now have these in stock.

The problem with microplastics - from STOPMICROWASTE

The problem with microplastics - from STOPMICROWASTE

Go to www.whatsinmywash.org.uk or www.stopmicrowaste.com for more top tips and share your Lil steps with #whatsinmywash & #dolilthings