Year for the Planet Year 2 Week 17: Why We Should Air Dry Our Laundry

Year for the Planet is a campaign to make better choices for the planet. 2017 was when I fixed my eating habits. This year, 2018, is where I deal with my clothing choices.

One thing about being raised in a tropical country is how dryers don’t really exist in our laundry cycles. What use did I have for a dryer when we have the sun year-round? It was only when I moved to New York City at 21 that my clothes were dried using a machine. It was the first time I knew about, let alone touched, this funny and initially creepy thing called lint.

Drying clothes by air is a lot better for clothing because you don’t damage the fabric so much. And so instead of an electricity-consuming dryer, I usually own a drying rack. Clothing lasts longer, electric bills are cheaper, and I shop less. Perhaps this can’t be realistic if you live in a place with minimal sunlight, or if it rains all the time, or if you have five kids, but if you have a chance, I guarantee that it lengthens the lifespan of your threads.

Here is the environmental cost of laundry: for 1 load, it’s 0.7 kg of carbon dioxide emissions washed at 40°C and air dried vs 2.4 kg of emissions for the same load that is washed and tumbled-dried in a vented dryer. That’s more than 3 times! Not to mention the more time, energy, and resources spent on having to buy new clothing. Dry your clothes the way we should dry our hair: forget the dryer so you stop frying them.

 

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