Although you ensure that what you eat and wear is completely vegan, have you ever stopped to study your laundry detergent?
Many products that leave your clothing looking brighter and smelling great actually contain animal-derived enzymes and/or get tested on animals.
To ensure a more animal-friendly wash, start using products that are derived from plant or vegetable sources. But that’s not where your efforts should stop. Many detergents contain harmful ingredients that can find their way into lakes and streams, wreaking havoc on animal life. An example includes phosphates. These can be harmful when they act as fertilizer, which chokes off rivers and lakes, while suffocating aquatic life such as salmon. They can also release chemicals into the water that cuts off its oxygen. As a vegan, you don’t want to harm any animals in any way, so it’s a good idea to shop for laundry detergents that are non-toxic and 100% biodegradable. This means that they contain ingredients that can naturally break down while not being harmful to the environment or its inhabitants.
Remember, a lot of the ingredients found in conventional laundry (and other cleaning) products can also be harmful to you, due to their chemical content. So, choosing a greener product is better all round.
Now, imagine a future world where you could find clothes that clean themselves. That would sure be convenient, right? The good news, is that it might become a reality for consumers within a few years. Currently, researchers from Hong Kong have been developing what’s referred to as a nano-coating that cleans stains on cashmere fabric just by exposing the material to light. The team has been working on self-cleaning solutions for a variety of fabrics, such as cotton, so as to prevent the use of washing machines that guzzle large amounts of energy and water.
*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons.