Greening your spa’s laundry is one of the most important tasks you can undertake when working towards more sustainable business practices. Regular laundry methods impact the health of people and the planet in several ways: Laundry uses water, electricity, and a vast amount of chemicals.
According to the EPA billions of pounds of chemicals are used in laundry detergents every year. These chemicals are ultimately released into the environment through wastewater. Wastewater from laundering operations is high in oil, grease, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), total dissolved solids (TDS), detergents, and surfactants. Most of these chemicals are harmful to the health of people and the planet and leave residues in certified organic fabrics, causing organic linens no longer be considered organic.
Traditional laundry systems use an average of 3 gallons of fresh water to process each pound of linens. The majority of that water needs to be heated. 70-90% of the energy used to operate a washer goes toward heating the water. The more water your washer uses the more energy it takes to heat up the water to the desired temperature. And in most cases this energy comes from non renewable resources.
Sustainable laundry processes have to keep a fine balance between minimizing their negative impact on the environment and people’s health by using eco-friendly laundry detergents and water/energy efficient washers and dryers while keeping operational cost at bay and ensuring highest standards for cleanliness of towels and linens.
This GSN toolkit chapter was made possible in part through generous funding from ilike Organic Skin Care and Living Earth Crafts.