Pre-yoga class on Monday, my friends C, H, and I were discussing how often we wash our yoga clothes. I use the 'wear+sweat twice' or 'wear+nosweat thrice' rule (I also use a similar rule of "wear pants/jeans twice if not dirty" rule- shh don't tell anyone!).
- We don't have our own laundry (since we live in an apartment) and it piles up during our weekly wash.
- It saves on water, energy and detergent use (woot environment!)
Laundry was one of those easy eco-changes that can have a nice impact with minimal effort. Since 90% of your washer's energy usage is to heat the water- cold water washes it is! It's been five years of cold water washing and I haven't even noticed the difference. Also we FILL the washer to the max- mostly because it costs money to wash our laundry, but wouldn't ya know that washer's MORE efficient with full loads! Bonus (Ecoholic Home 2009 p.38).
What we have experimented a bit with has been laundry detergent. We've tried soap nuts (terrible fail let me tell you) and a few other brands, until I gifted myself with the Ecoholic Home book: it has a handy dandy laundry detergent eco-awesome-effective guide.
(Lorax approved Seventh Generation vs Bio-Vert the Hockey Lover's choice)
1. Bio-Vert (liquid). This rocks as it's a Canadian company, the products are made in Canada (Laval Québec)! The container, although plastic, is made from 33% recycled plastic content, the paper labels are made with 30% post-consumer fibres and are FSC certified... the list goes on. It has worked the best compared to all other 'chemical laden' brands... and it claims to biodegrade in 28 days (where do you think all the soap goes once it drains out of your washer?) with the EcoLogo certifying that it doesn't just biodegrade it smaller toxic components.
2. Seventh Generation Natural 4X (Liquid): Ok, although not Canadian, even before the new fab packaging, this stuff was amazing. The container is made with 66% LESS plastic than a regular container with the outside cardboard uber tree-hugger look from 100% postconsumer recycled fibre. Of course the actual ingredients are extremely environmentally friendly and will do up to 66 loads! (which is double the Bio-vert counterpart). Sadly it was twice the cost (although you could argue it would save money re: double the loads) and it's not made in Canada. Kinda a sticking point for me. However, because the packaging looked so cool I totally bought it and gave it a go. It works amazingly. Of course.
Wash your yoga clothes in cold water, avoid fabric softener, hang to dry and you've got yourself an eco-friendly washed yoga gear!