Plastic Free Laundry

I’m going to start this post with recognition that I have failed to keep to my new years resolution to post on the blog frequently. This also coincided with a bit of blog loathing (my own) so it is only recently that I have been able to even look at my blog. However Plastic Free July has definitely prompted me to put aside my blog insecurities and post something before the month is over.

Laundry. It’s not everyone’s most favourite task, however it’s a crucial task that keeps a household ticking. It can be a wasteful task in terms of water usage, packaging from laundry detergents and powders as well as costly to the home and environment through electricity usage. Here’s how we tackle laundry at home that is not completely waste free however it is mindful of waste:

Zero Waste Laundry powder:

1kg washing soda crystals + 1 bar grated soap

I buy washing soda crystals in bulk at bin inn and buy unpackaged soap from Huckleberry Farms or markets.

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I use approximately one tablespoon per wash.

Washing:

I wash everyday as I use cloth nappies for my baby. To wash the nappies I put them through a 20 min rinse cycle first then add any other laundry to the cycle for a cold wash. We haven’t experienced a significant rise on our water bill since using cloth nappies, we are actually on the low scale of water usage for a family of four.

Quick tip: add fresh lemon juice to the rinse compartment to whiten fabrics.

Laundry basket:

I replaced our broken plastic laundry basket with two cane baskets bought at a local op shop. The cane baskets will not last forever but they can be broken down and composted to be turned into a renewable resource.

Drying:

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Our new drying rack is made by a NZ company called Black Sand.

I use a wooden laundry rack to predominately dry nappies that I have just recently purchased (birthday present to myself). Our old one was falling to pieces so we decided to make an investment buying a NZ made wooden rack that will last longer than it’s plastic coated metal counterparts. Placing this in front of the ranch slider where there is all day sunlight luckily takes up little space in our small home and is easily manoeuvred outside when there are clear skies. Having a laundry line under the car port works well for as able to dry our clothes all year round, with assistance from the hot water cupboard during the winter months.

Waste:

Our broken rack and laundry basket will be put out in the inorganic collection which with the new changes to inorganics in Auckland will be recycled at new community led recycling centres. See the link for more info -http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/environmentwaste/rubbishrecycling/Pages/inorganiccollections.aspx

I would be keen to hear from others as to how they wash and dry their laundry whilst being mindful of waste.