Phosphate-Free Laundry Detergents
Detergents are soaps made from synthetic materials, and have a long history of being loaded with Phosphates. Phosphates help boost the cleaning efficiency of detergent, but have harmful effects on rivers, lakes, streams, and other fresh waters. Phosphorous is an important plant nutrient, but when so much of it pours into natural bodies of water (ultimately from our dishwashers and washing machines) levels of phosphates in these fresh water bodies can be much higher than usual.
The result? Algae in the water grow faster than they should, turning clear lakes and rivers green and cloudy. This extra algal growth is not only unappealing to look at, but can also make the water smell bad and make it unsuitable for swimming.
In the long run, the excess algal growth can have devastating impacts on the health and age of a fresh water lake or river, causing eutrophication to speed up, where lakes and other water bodies fill in with dead algae and other organic matter and eventually turn into dry land.
Reduce your impact by purchasing only detergents made without phosphates. Seventh Generation, Ecover Natural and Trader Joe’s brand are all good to try.