Jenna Carando

Small Changes, Big Impact

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microfibers weren't even on my radar until recently. turns out, microfibers make up 85% of human-made debris on shorelines around the world (according to a 2011 study, so I can only imagine that the number is far higher now.)

everytime you wash synthetic materials (in other words, most of our clothing) you're sending thousands of microfibers into our waterways. once in the environment, these microfibers cause all sorts of problems — they're consumed by aquatic organisms, end up in our drinking water, and can end up in the seafood we eat. they affect the entire food chain.

according to a study from UCSB, a city the size of Berlin releases a wash-related volume of microfibers equivalent to about 500,000 plastic bags, every single day. reread that sentence — I had to several times for that insane stat to sink in. (via @stopmicrowaste )

here's what @stopmicrowaste recommends:
• skip synthetic textiles like polyester, acrylic and nylon.
• wash your clothes with cold water — heat weakens the materials, leading to more microplastics getting into the water.
• wash out stains by hand when clothes are not truly dirty, or try airing them out. prioritizing convenience over the environment and inevitably our health is never ideal.
• friction in the wash leads to the release of more microplastics. skip the spin cycle or reduce the spin if your washer allows it — synthetic textiles dry fast.
• don't wash solid items with your laundry, such as your shoes. this will lead to significantly more fibers breaking. even separating hard and soft textiles, like a jean jacket and a fleece, will help reduce microplastic pollution.
• switch to laundry detergent with a neutral ph-value without bleach. you can even make your own laundry detergent! I tried a recipe from tradingwasteforabundance.com recently and it was surprisingly easy!
• wash synthetic garments in a washing bag such as Guppyfriend (can be found at Patagonia and REI) or a device that catches microfibers.
• air dry your clothes!

give it a try and let me know how it goes!

follow along on Instagram!

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