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Eco-Challenge: Swap your laundry detergent

 Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

A haphazard scattering of blue plastic clothespins, a blue bottle of liquid laundry detergent with a red cap, laundry detergent pods and a pile of powdered detergent surround a white towel.

As part of our commitment to Earth via our Laudato Si’ Action Plan, we are inviting everyone who shares in our charism to take a monthly Eco-Challenge with us.

Try a new detergent

In April, ask yourself: “How might rethinking my laundry detergent choices be a step towards improving the environment?”

Ahhh…the smell of clean clothes, towels, sheets and blankets. Fresh laundry is one of life’s simple pleasures. Sadly though, the single-use plastic containers and the liquid detergents that come in them are creating havoc on Mother Earth and the environment. Luckily, there are sustainable and effective alternatives.

Are you more loyal to the Earth than to your favorite detergent brand? Might there be more environmentally sustainable ways to do your laundry? Be adventurous, try other brands!

Eco-friendlier options

Laundry detergent sheets

Laundry detergent sheets are highly concentrated, low-sudsing, pre-measured detergent strips that you just toss into your washing machine. They come in eco-friendly recyclable paperboard packaging, and they live up to their eco-friendly credentials. Consumer Reports gave Earth Breeze Laundry Sheets a good rating, noting they are one of the most effective laundry strips at removing dirt, body oil, blood, chocolate and grass stains. As with most detergents, pre-treating using a stain remover for serious stains is helpful.

Powdered detergent

Powdered laundry detergents usually come in recyclable cardboard boxes. If you love a certain brand, most of the mainstream liquid laundry detergents are available in a powder form. However, “while the cardboard boxes are more environmentally friendly than plastic bottles, they are heavy and impact the environment with more transportation costs” (The Spruce).

Learn more

There are even more ways to make your laundry routine more sustainable, as we highlighted in our May 2022 Eco-Challenge: Make a laundry list of changes, like using cold water and hanging clothes to dry.

Take the Eco-Challenge

  • I will take an inventory of the laundry products I use and consider more sustainable alternatives. (Start by checking out our Recommended sustainable products list.)
  • I will purchase one container of laundry powder or laundry strips to try out on a few loads of laundry.
  • I will encourage one or more friends and family members to use laundry strips or laundry powder in environmentally friendly packaging.
  • I will write to liquid detergent companies encouraging them to adopt reusable packing.
  • I will share this month’s Eco-Challenge with my faith community.

Spread the word

  • Leave a comment about how you’re taking the challenge below.
  • Invite others to take the April Eco-Challenge by sharing our post on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

11 thoughts on “Eco-Challenge: Swap your laundry detergent”

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    I am grateful for the information and continue to forward it on to the members of my family. I have had a couple of the nieces/nephews high five me on providing this information.

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    We have been using laundry strips for about a year and a half. They work just as well as any detergent I have used. We have a top loading machine so usually I turn the water in the washer on and “melt” the strip a bit before putting the clothes in. I’m not at all sure that is necessary — just makes me feel better and it doesn’t use any extra water — just has a little water in the bottom of the tub before I put the clothes in. Also, I turn my dark pants inside out — but that’s good to do no matter what detergent you use to prevent “soap” stains.

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    I already use laundry sheets and have interested others. I will “widen my tent” by talking about this with others living here.

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    Roselani Enomoto, CSJ

    I have been using strips for about a year now and am pleased with the results. Am encouraging my nieces and nephews to use the strips for their laundry and am awaiting their replies and comments. Now the grand nieces and grand nephews are asking about “the strips”!
    Our local community of three are all using the laundry strips with our personal laundry. Progress!

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    I switched to earth Breeze-Unscented, as my husband has very serious allergies. He has had no issues with skin irritations, our clothes seem whiter and brighter and it is awesome to not have to deal with those big jugs of liquid detergent! Next–I am going to track down tennis balls to replace dryer sheets. I am sharing with all my friends and family–my daughter was actually the first to go in this direction. Great suggestions : )

    1. Avatar

      Look in our sustainable products list on the website for several options for wool dryer balls. I have used several products and find they all work well and last a long time.

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    we have been using alternative, unscented detergent for about a year. the load-worth of fetergent comes as a pouch that dissolves in the water. it is delivered in cardboard.
    Mary Mcglone

  7. Avatar

    This blog post on “Eco Challenge: Swap Your Laundry Detergent” is an insightful and practical guide that not only highlights the environmental impact of traditional laundry detergents but also provides accessible and effective solutions for a greener laundry routine. The step-by-step instructions for making the switch to eco-friendly alternatives make it easy for readers to take actionable steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle. With well-researched information and a clear commitment to promoting positive change, this article serves as a valuable resource for anyone looking to minimize their carbon footprint and make mindful choices in their everyday household practices.

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About us

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.


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