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  • Young Climate Warriors

Can you make your washing pile disappear??!

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

How hard do you make your washing machine work … in one week … in one year?? Can you ask your parent/ carer how many washes you do in a week – and work it out – we think you might be surprised!

Why do you think this matters for climate change? … how is your washing machine powered? Your challenge this week is to be the ‘washing wizard’ and make some of the laundry pile disappear!

As a Young Climate Warrior can you STOP and THINK before putting your clothes in the wash basket?

  • Is your uniform really dirty or is it just habit to jettison it onto the pile for the washing machine?

  • Could you use a flannel to ‘spot’ clean that yoghurt from your top – dry it over a chair so it’s waiting for you next morning?

When you have helped make your laundry pile disappear please remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON!

Sometimes your clothes really do need to get soaked, rinsed and spun - can you help your parent / carer load the washing machine - could you wait until you have a full load as this will use less energy for each item of clothing? Can you make your normal washing machine cycle 30 degrees?

It’s not just the electricity used that’s an issue. A lot of the clothes we wear are made of plastics such as polyester, nylon and acrylic. Have you heard of microplastics? Every time we wash our clothes in the washing machine an average of 700,000 tiny fibres, thinner than a strand of hair, are released. They are so tiny that they pass through washing machine filters and water treatment plants, and ends up in rivers and oceans, where they act like a sponge and absorbs chemicals and are then consumed by animals at the bottom of the food chain, such as plankton and mussels. Microplastics in the oceans are thought to reduce the ability of the ocean to absorb carbon, and eventually they can also end up in our food and drinking water. Yuck!

By stopping and thinking before putting clothes in the laundry basket; washing at a lower temperature; and only washing with a full load – you can help reduce the presence of micro-plastics and help to tackle climate change!

If you’d like to understand more about plastic microfibres in our washing you may enjoy this Natural History Museum page

Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have completed this challenge!


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