A study showed that if all US washers switched to cold water, this change would translate to a savings of 42 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. You'll also save on your electric bill every month, since 90% of the energy used by washing machines is used to heat water. Concerned about the effect on your laundry? Bacteria can only be killed when the water reaches a temperature of 180 degrees, but most household washers can only heat water as high as 140 degrees. So, it's likely that your hot water wash is less effective than you realized.
We can all continue to consume less, buy vintage instead of new, and make conscious purchasing decisions, but don't forget about the wash-and-care opportunity as well. You'll save money and help reduce your carbon footprint.
For more energy saving tips, check out the US Department of Energy's Laundry Tips
This post was written by Colleen Wachob