Dear Laundry Detergent, You Are Polluting My World

Dear Laundry Detergent, You Are Polluting My World

Without a doubt, laundry detergents are household staples, essential to clean our clothes and linens. But do you know the harmful ingredients it releases into the air and water?

In the 1960s, nearly all commercial detergents in the US contained high levels of phosphates. When in contact with fresh water, this ingredient creates a nutrient-rich environment for algae to thrive: The more phosphorus in water, the more algae. The problem is that excessive algae can be dangerous for the ecosystems as it reduces light and oxygen in the water, causing the pH to change and everything to decay. Indeed, by the end of the 60s, Lake Erie was completely invaded by algae, and most of its aquatic life perished. 

Besides phosphates, detergents also hold another main ingredient: surfactants derived from crude oil. Surfactants are synthetic chemicals that reduce the surface tension of oil and water so the cleansing product can have an in-depth action in removing stains or "lift dirt." However, they happen to be highly toxic to the environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, surfactants can break the mucus layer from fish leaving them vulnerable to parasites and bacteria.

Even today, most commercial laundry detergents have the same ingredients plus dyes, chemical fragrances, qualms, and other toxic nonbiodegradable components that can remove stains, soften fabric, keep colors bright, and make clothes smell good. But all at the expense of contributing to environmental pollution and posing a threat to public health.

What’s even worse is that laundry detergent packaging can be just as harmful as what it’s inside. In one year, more than 30 billion loads of laundry are run in North America alone. Which means that an estimated 900 million laundry jugs are tossed annually. Just 30% of these highly density polyethylene jugs are recycled while the rest, approx 630 million jugs, found their way into landfills. 

It takes 500-700 years for polyethylene to start breaking down.  

Start Shopping with Mindfulness

By shopping laundry products with mindfulness, we are helping to reduce our choices' impact on the environment. Many eco-friendly laundry products clean our clothes without polluting the ecosystems or harming our health. Moreover, eco-friendly laundry products can also come in biodegradable packaging, replacing those pervasive and toxic plastic jugs. Search our product listing to check our natural, eco-friendly, plastic-free, biodegradable lavender scent detergent strips.

We recommend always looking at the ingredients listed on laundry detergents and checking products for accredited eco-friendly certifications through EPA Safer Choice, Made Safe, and even EWG's verification system.

Switch to Laundry Sheets

These lavender laundry sheets are not only eco-friendly, but also free from harmful chemicals like parabens, phthalates, bleach, and dyes. This makes them a safe and natural choice for your laundry needs. Plus, with the powerful formula, you only need a half sheet for a medium load or a full sheet for a large load, helping you conserve water with each load.

Shop Now

More articles