All right, ladies. Let’s talk about fashion. (In the interest of not promoting gender sterotypes, let’s include some guys in this conversation, too.) I found this magazine picture showing layered looks that are all the rage right now. And why am I talking about this, in a blog that is ostensibly about saving water? Because believe it or not, wearing layers can actually make it easier for you to reduce water use. In my first post, I mentioned showering and flushing less frequently as two ways to drastically reduce your water use in your home. I still stand by those tips, but I understand that some people may not see the appeal of cutting back on your normal hygiene routine. So, instead, I’m going to talk about water usage in laundry, and how to reduce that.
First of all, there’s no law that says you can’t wear an item of clothing more than once between washings. Heck, here’s a college student who argues you could wear the same pair of jeans every day for a year without seeing any significant increase in their dirtiness. That’s an extreme example, but you could wear a cardigan two or three times before you wash it. If you’re grossed out by the idea of dressing in your sweat, well, that’s where the layering comes in. Even if you only wash the bottom layer, you can still reduce the mass of laundry being fed into your machine.
Another water tip? Only run full loads of laundry. Running several small loads, even on “lite load” settings, uses more water and energy than just running a big load all at once. If you’re worried about running out of clothes between washes, maybe this is the excuse you need to treat yourself to a shopping trip. Don’t say the pictures in that fashion magazine I linked didn’t give you any ideas. (Maybe consider shopping used or vintage – virtual water is as much an issue in clothing production as it is in food, and a pair of jeans or a cotton T-shirt can use hundreds of gallons of water to produce).
So, for those of you keeping score at home, I just gave you an excuse to treat yourself to a shopping trip, to do less laundry, and to stay on top of the modern fashion trends. And who said that water conservation isn't easy?