By Angeliz Venter
Edited by Marcelle Jordaan
“Having an empty laundry basket is the best 5 seconds of the week”. Sounds familiar? I feel you!
Besides the fact that most people hate doing laundry, doing laundry is currently a very big problem for our environment. More than 700 000 000 of plastic jugs end up in our landfills and oceans every year! It is estimated that only 9% of all plastic gets recycled, and by 2050, there will be more plastic in our ocean than fish. What a scary prediction…
Putting the environmental facts aside, laundry days are the worse for all of us. It is not a fun activity, and most of the time, it cannot be done quickly. In the past, another factor that made laundry days even worse for me, is the fact that I could not find an affordable, yet sustainable detergent option. A lot of people suggested that I make my own laundry detergent and I thought I would give it a try… but where do you find the time to make the detergent, when you don’t even have the time to use it for the purpose you have to make it for? This relentless cycle of searching but not finding anything, combined with the busy schedule that most of us have, made me opt for the cheap bulk packs you find at any supermarket, and each time I used it, I felt extremely guilty, because I try my best to live sustainably and find eco-friendly alternatives for everything I can.
I recently found a business in South Africa called Recology. Their mission is to bring sustainable replacements for products we use every day in our country. In SA, our options are still very limited and the supermarket brands that claim to be more sustainable, are not always very reliable and then they cost you a fortune! One product Recology resells, that I was interested in immediately, was their Earth Breeze laundry detergent eco-sheets. This is basically a little sheet that you either put into the holder where you would normally put your detergent, or you put it directly in with the clothes. I prefer the latter as I’ve realized that it creates more foam this way and I am one of those consumers who struggles to believe that something can be clean where there hasn’t been foam involved! The sheet dissolves within seconds in either hot or cold water and you can also use it for hand washing your clothes. Another big plus for me is the fact that it is safe to use with a septic tank and grey water.
So, why should you switch over to Earth Breeze’s laundry detergent eco-sheets?
• They are paraben, phthalate, phosphate, bleach, AND dye free
• They are cruelty free and vegan
• It will lower your carbon footprint
• They are hypoallergenic & dermatologist approved
• Works in HE machines
• ZERO plastic packaging
I love the fact that I can be environmentally friendly while at the same time, not even having to measure out my detergent. Half a sheet can be used for a smaller load, one sheet for a full load and two sheets for heavily soiled clothes. This is an important fact to remember when using these eco-sheets. The first time I used it, I only put one sheet for a full load of heavily soiled clothes (we have dogs, and we play outside with them every day, so most of our loads are heavily soiled). When I took the clothes out, there was still some marks left over on the clothes and I thought it didn’t work, but I tried again with two sheets, and it removed all the stains. So don’t try and “save” sheets by using less, use two when you must! I also love that it saves space and is basically a document envelope size, that you can put into a cupboard and not see until it’s laundry day again. With each pack you can wash up to 60 loads, depending on usage- which is so comforting, seeing as most sustainable or organic brands only produce small quantities, which is not cost effective in the long run. The packaging is also 100% decompostable.
Earth Breeze eco-sheets are available in both a fragranced option, as well as a fragrance-free option, which is a perfect option for people with sensitive skin or eczema. I personally prefer the fragranced sheets, but we do rotate between the two sheets as my partner prefers the non-fragranced sheets, so it just comes down to personal preference and skin type. All in all, I am so happy to have found a sustainable solution for my detergent problem and I am so excited to see which other products Recology will bring into South Africa to help us make more sustainable choices!