'There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew.' Marshal McLuhan, Canadian Philosopher.

It’s pretty clear that climate change is the defining issue of our time, representing the single biggest threat to our planet. Time then, to ensure we are no longer just passengers along for the ride on spaceship Earth… but fully-fledged crew members working hard to keep the ship intact!

We’re partnering with the experts at smol, the UK’s fastest-growing, eco-effective cleaning brand to bring you easy and effective ways to cut the carbon footprint of your laundry. Their all-new #washwell campaign provides simple tips to create more sustainable cleaning routines within your home, that could save you energy, water and money... what’s not to love?

So for starters… smol would actually love us all to wash a bit LESS!

Weird advice from a laundry brand right? But as it turns out, it’s one of the fastest ways to achieve impactful change in your household - so it’s time to take a load off.

One of the easiest ways to ensure we are all using our washing machines less is by scrapping those half loads of laundry we might sometimes run.

According to smol, 49% of people run their washing machines when they are not actually full, at least once every week*. Half loads of laundry use more than half the energy and water of a full load so they aren’t really saving us anything.

Does this actually make a difference?

Your washing machine is responsible for around 10% of your household’s carbon emissions** and of course, it uses a lot of water. In fact, each time you don’t use your washing machine, you’re saving the same amount of water as you use to take a shower (the carbon equivalent of powering an LED bulb for 3 entire days).

If every UK home dropped just one 40˚C load of laundry each month, we’d collectively save around 120,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in a year. That’s the same as heating 43,000 homes for a year. We’d also save enough water to fill 7,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

So YES… it makes a difference!

If you’re ever unsure as to what a full load looks like, it’s easy to gauge with smol’s handy measuring tip. Simply leave a palm’s width between the top of your laundry and the top inside of the drum (any less and the washing won’t have room to clean). If there’s more space than the width of your palm then you know you’re not fully loaded.

So what else can we do to clean up our laundry habits?

Turn it down… according to Which?, washing at 30˚C instead of 40˚C reduces energy use by 38%. Good detergents (like smol) don’t need high temperatures to get results so it’s safe to play it cool. If we all made this change we could save 858,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

  • Get to know your machine. Dig out that guide and discover the best cycle for your machine. You want the shortest, coolest, lowest-water cycle possible, and surprisingly it isn’t always the one labeled ‘eco’.
  • Let it all hang out. It can be tricky in the British weather, but whenever possible try to dry your laundry outside. Line-drying brings a big reduction to your carbon footprint and cuts your energy bill too.
  • Go natural. Washing synthetic fibres like polyester or fleece contributes around 38% of the micro-plastic pollution to our oceans in the form of microfibers. Sticking to cotton or bamboo-based clothing prevents this pollution (rest assured you’re always safe with Asquith's ethical activewear!).
  • Simple changes such as these to your laundry routine soon translate into greener laundry. As smol points out, around 70% of the carbon footprint for a detergent is how it’s actually used within our homes so focusing on our cleaning habits can definitely pay dividends.

Want to try smol’s plastic-free, cruelty-free/vegan laundry capsules for yourself? smol is offering Asquith customers a 20% discount on your first 2 full packs of laundry if you take their bio or non-bio free trial using the code ASQUITH01.

It’s another smol thing to make a big difference.

* Research from The BrandBean 2020

** BBC doc https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200326-the-hidden-impact-of-your-daily-water-use