There are two negative environmental impacts of using a washing machine – it consumes a lot of energy and water. An old washing machine can consume around 150 litres of water per load , whereas a modern washing machine can wash the same load with 50 litres of water. Not just water, in fact the new washing machines have also become more energy efficient. A modern washing machine consumes around 30 percent lesser power than those that are around two decades old.
If you are planning to get a new machine home, here are a few things you should look at to make sure you make the most of power and water efficiency, as well as your money.
Things To Look Out For:
1. Front Or Top: Front loading washing machines consume less water and energy but take longer time to wash. So overall energy consumption could be same or more than top loaders.
2. Full Load And Right Size Are Important – A bigger sized model will waste a lot of water and energy, while the smaller size will require more cycles, which again will use more energy. A 6 kg load is ideal for a nuclear family.
3. Use It To Full Capacity – Wait till you have a full load of clothes to wash. Two half loads will consume nearly double the water and electricity of a single full load.
4. Star Rating – BEE star labels are now available on some washing machines and show both water and energy consumption. A 5 star rating is the most efficient.
5. Smart Use – Use machine friendly detergent to avoid extra rinses, which means using more water and energy. Avoid hot water if possible, as warm water (40 degree C) is greener than hot water (70 degree C). If you need hot water regularly, install a simple solar water heater and get free zero fuel hot water. Don’t wash your jeans regularly and take inspiration from Levis CEO Chip Bergh, who washes his jeans once a year and says you really don’t need to wash them regularly.  If possible, dry your clothes on a clothes line instead of using the dryer (saves energy). You can reuse the waste water (grey water) for flushing and other activities.
 Waterwise UK
 Levis Strauss Unzipped Blog 20th May, 2014
Image source: Pixabay