Washing Machines and The Environment
Electronic washing machines have revolutionised the way we clean clothes forever, not to mention saving a tremendous amount of time and sore hands! Despite these benefits, there are also environmental issues to consider, as certain factors associated with the use of washing machines can have detrimental effects upon the environment and pollution levels.
For one thing, electronic washing machines use electricity, as their name suggests. They further add to the overall increasing demand for power, energy and electricity which is required and consumed by households across the world. Unless this electricity is provided through a renewable source, then it will need to be generated by burning fossil fuels which damages the environment through the release of pollution, especially air pollution. It is therefore important that washing machines are run at maximum efficiency through combining the two factors below:
Modern day washing machines and detergents are capable of washing clothes to the required standard using a much lower temperature than used to be necessary a decade or two ago. This means washing machines do not need to heat the water to a high temperature which would require the consumption of electricity.
Operating the machine at any water temperature will require energy. Therefore, it is far better for the environment if machines only run with full loads rather than half full (or less!), as the frequency of operation will be reduced. By waiting until there are enough dirty clothes for a full load, rather than washing a couple of items at a time as and when, a person will reduce their environmental impact as well as saving themselves money on their electricity bills.
By operating washing machines in this way, and combining it with other small and simple changes to behaviour such as giving thought to the required heating or cooling levels for a room according to its near-term use, individual households can make a tremendous difference to the environment when their efforts are totalled. For example, if everyone in the world lowered the temperature of their washing then the amount of energy saved and subsequently the benefit to the environment will be tremendous.