The latest news from The Waterline campaign.

Using a tumble dryer for one year emits more carbon than a tree can absorb in 50

30 September 2020

Using a tumble dryer for one year emits more carbon than a tree can absorb in 50

Being environmentally friendly is more important than ever in 2020, with single-use plastics rocketing during lockdown, and stark warnings from television programmes - such as David Attenborough’s latest documentary: Extinction: The Facts – reminding us that climate change isn’t going anywhere and the time to act is now.

But did you know that the eco revolution actually starts in your cleaning cupboard?

Using non-eco cleaning products cause significant harm to aquatic life

You may not have noticed, but some washing up liquids come with a warning message buried within the small print, reading ‘harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects’.

That’s because a number of cleaning products, including washing up liquids and laundry detergents, contain ingredients that are harmful to wildlife in the UK.

Such ingredients include optical brighteners like dimethicone. Used to make clothing appear whiter and brighter, when fed into aquatic environments it can impact both fish and plant life - causing mutations to microorganisms in receiving waters.

To avoid using products that harm aquatic life, make sure to check the back of the bottle you’re using. If they do, a message will be printed on the back along with a warning symbol.

Using a tumble dryer for one year emits more carbon than a tree can absorb in 50

Over the course of its lifetime (approx. 100 years), a tree will absorb on average 500kg of CO2*. With the average household using their tumble dryer 20 times a month, it’s shocking to find that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from just one tumble dryer a year (432kg) is more than a tree in the UK can absorb over the course of the first 50 years of its life.

Lloyd Atkin, managing director of ethical cleaning company Bio-D, says: “It’s startling to see such high carbon emissions from a common household appliance.

“By avoiding tumble dryers, and instead drying washing outside on the line or on airers in the house, households can save 36kg of carbon from being released into the atmosphere each month. It would also significantly lower your annual energy bill.”

Washing at 30 rather than 40 degrees saves 40% energy a month

We know that we should wash our clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40, but why is this beneficial, and what difference does it really make?

Put simply, washing at 30 degrees saves an estimated 40% of energy compared to washing at higher temperatures. And saving energy means producing less fossil fuel, which in turn means less damage to the planet!

However, washing at 30 degrees instead of 40 doesn’t mean you’re compromising the quality of your wash. Many eco-friendly laundry products, including Bio-D’s range of laundry liquids and fabric conditioners, work just as well at lower temperatures – leaving your clothes feeling clean and fresh.


View All News