UK households are using twice as much energy as necessary on laundry
UK households are using twice as much energy as necessary on laundry, new research has revealed.
Six in ten British households are keeping their washing machines running at high 40° temperatures, using more than double the energy they need.
That’s despite huge improvements by detergent makers to enable washing at cold temperatures.
The study found that if every household in the UK turned their washing from 40° to 30° for one year, it would save CO2 emissions equivalent to powering 1550 homes for an entire year.
If every household in Greater London switched from 40° to 30° throughout the year, they could save enough energy to rotate the London Eye 2.3 million times.
But despite the obvious environmental benefits, one in five Brits have never considered turning the temperature down on their washing machine.
Almost a third say that is because they don’t believe lower temperatures clean clothes properly, and a quarter say it’s because it is the automatic setting on the washing machine.
The research by Ariel and the Energy Savings Trust is being released to encourage people to participate in WWF’s #PromiseForThePlanet campaign for Earth Hour.
WWF is encouraging people to make small lifestyle changes, like using reusable coffee cups and turning down their washing to 30.
And for every promise made online using the hashtag or via the WWF website, Ariel will donate £1 to WWF to the value of £50,000.
Speaking about the launch of the partnership, Scott Popham, Senior Communications Manager for Ariel said: “At P&G we understand the impact the small changes in everyday behaviours can have on the wider environment, and it’s a vision we share closely with WWF-UK.
“Ariel has been designed specifically to work at lower temperatures and has been at the forefront of driving consumer behaviour change.
“Our long running ‘Turn to 30⁰’ initiative calls for exactly the kind of behaviour change that can have a big environmental impact and that is why we are partnering with WWF for #PromiseForThePlanet.
“We are proud to be supporting WWF-UK and this year’s Earth Hour to encourage as many people as possible to promise for the planet.”
Ariel is specifically formulated to perform at low temperatures so that consumers can turn their washing down but still enjoy a brilliant clean.
The Ariel ‘Turn to 30°’ campaign, first launched in 2006, has witnessed a large rise in the number of people washing at low temperatures.
Special formulas with a hydrophobic (or “water-hating”) surfactant system work specifically well on these greasy, hard-to-remove stains, to provide superior cleaning in cool temperatures, such as 30° or lower washes.
Gareth Redmond-King, Head of Climate & Energy at WWF-UK, said: “Our planet is in desperate need of action to tackle threats to our nature and environment; but we do know what the solutions are to those threats.
“One promise from a person might seem like a small step, but the collective power of many people making small adjustments can have a genuine impact.
“We are grateful to have the support of Ariel to help people make an Earth Hour #PromiseForThePlanet.
“Ultimately, by more people getting involved, we all stand to benefit.”
Jane Goddard, Group Director of Marketing and Business Development at Energy Saving Trust, added: “We’re backing the #PromiseForThePlanet campaign for Earth Hour to raise awareness of the fact that small environmental actions add up.
“Through our partnership with P&G we’re urging millions more people to wash at 30⁰.
“If every household in the UK switched from 40 to 30 degrees throughout the year, it would be the equivalent to the annual emissions from around 1550 typical homes.”
Top Reasons for Washing Above 30⁰
1. It cleans better 44.31%
2. It gets stains out better 35.62%
3. I don’t believe lower temps clean them properly 30.10%
4. It’s the automatic setting on my washing machine 26.25%
5. It gets the whites whiter 18.56%
6. I never thought about it 18.39%
7. It’s what my mum always did 12.37%
8. I’ll probably have to wash them again to get them clean 9.03%
9. I think they would smell bad at lower temperatures 8.36%
10. I’m a messy eater and I need the heat to get the stains out 3.51%
11. I didn’t know washing them at a lower temp saved energy 3.34%