Over recent years there has been increasing worry about climate change and the effect it will have on our planet. One of the most commonly talked about problems related to climate change is the sea ice loss that affects polar-bears. As well as this, Scotland’s historic sites are at risk of being damaged, sea turtle nesting beaches are under threat from rising sea levels and humans are at risk of facing heat waves, floods and droughts.
The New York Times recently published an article about how a Danish biotechnology company called ‘Novozymes’ are attempting to fight climate change, by using the enzymes extracted from fungus, in laundry. The mushrooms are usually found in cool areas, so scientists are discovering these enzymes in areas such as in a dormant forest outside Copenhagen.
The enzymes in mushrooms speed up chemical reactions and can be used in detergents to break down dirt. Enzymes do not require the high energy or temperature levels typically used in laundry processes, thus by using them in detergents, the idea is that we are conserving the planet’s resources and helping to combat climate change. According to the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, reducing the temperature on a washing machine cycle to cold water from 40 degrees Celsius reduces energy consumption by at least half.
What can we do?
Don’t worry-we’re not advising you to start harvesting your own mushrooms to wash your laundry with. However, if looking after the environment was one of your New Year’s resolutions then changing the way you do your laundry is a great start! At Zinc laundry we use a safe biodegradable detergent process which leaves your clothes looking, feeling and smelling fresh whilst also helping to fight climate change.