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Households use 2x The energy required for washing

Jack Peat

23 Mar 2018

'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'

British households are using twice as much energy as necessary on laundry, new research has revealed.

Six in 10 are keeping their washing machines running at high 40C 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 40C to 30C for one year, it would save carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to powering 1,550 homes for an entire year.

If every household in Greater London switched from 40C to 30C 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 said 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 30C, while 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."

She added: “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.”

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 30C. 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 1,550 typical homes.”

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