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Environmental Impact

December 14, 2019

I sometimes read Mr. Karen’s magazines after he’s done with them, which is how I recently learned that I’m polluting the environment when I wash our clothes. Well, some of our clothes. The majority of our stuff is cotton with a few wool garments, and those are okay. It’s the synthetic fibers that are the problem, and during winter/ski season we wear a lot of those. I’m typing this while wearing a poly fleece robe, perfect for chilly winter mornings. The layers we wear for skiing are almost all synthetic, because those perform well for the purpose. Apparently these shed microfibers when washed, and those are showing up in fish and shellfish. This is not new news, but it was new to me, and now I’ve got to decide what to do about it.

This article has 15 things to do, two of which I’m already doing (using liquid laundry detergent and washing in cold water, though I do the latter not all the time but just most of the time … the exception is sheets and towels which are mostly cotton anyway). And I suppose I get credit for another point, because I do usually wash full loads, though that’s just me being lazy and letting the laundry pile up. By putting that link in, I’m doing one more (or maybe two, as “telling friends and family” is also on the list).

The one I’m debating is buying a special bag that’s designed to trap the fibers in the washer. REI has them for $29.75 (Guppyfriend washing bag). Would one be enough? Would this even work in the new fangled washer we have, with its very specific instructions to load items separately, balled up, with smaller ones on the bottom? Would I wash my bras in their lingere bag inside this bag? How much of an environmental impact is there associated with manufacture and shipping of the bag (I believe it’s made in Europe)?

I realize it’s a privilege that I can worry about stuff like this. And I worry that by worrying about this, I’m spending time that would be better spent some other way, like writing a check to some environmental organization working to solve this problem at its source.

*****

On this date in 2018: Road Tripping
2017: Throwback Thursday: 1968
2016: Pouty Face Felt Girl
2015: Wintery
2014: Quilt Show Flashback
2013: No entry
2012: I Can’t Even
2011: Minimal Effort
2010: Spicy Random
2009: Star of Light
2008: Dinner and a Show
2007: WDW 5: Not Quite the Final Frontier & Holiday Spirit
2006: Textile Thursday
2005: Trash into Something
2004: Skiing, Snickers, and Stuff
2003: Thumbs Up for Snow
2002: Zoo Baby Quilt




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