There is so much choice when it comes to white goods like washing machines that the market can seem very daunting. There are a few things to look out for when purchasing the machine to ensure it is as eco-friendly as possible though.
Firstly, try to choose a machine with a good energy efficiency rating. As of March 2021, energy labels have changed, and on the new scale anything rated above ‘C’ is great. We recommend not buying washer-dryers as they are nearly always less energy efficient. Instead, skip the tumble dryer altogether and hang your clothes out to dry! They will smell so much better too…
Next, look for machines with the right drum size for your household, as under-filling the machine will make it less efficient. Ensure your new machine has cool and quick wash settings to avoid washing at higher temperatures or for longer than needed, as this will use more electricity. And finally, as most of a washing machine’s carbon footprint occurs during manufacture, we also recommend buying a quality product that will last; you may spend a little more upfront but in the long run it’ll be worth it for both you and the planet.
Our Top Picks…
Company: Grundig is part of Arçelik, who have some inspiring sustainability goals. By 2030, they are aiming to reduce energy consumption per product by 45%, increase their waste recycling rate to 99% in global operations and reduce water withdrawal per product by 45% from their 2015 baseline. Grundig want to increase recycled plastic content in products to 40% by 2030, and their efforts to date can be seen in their washing machines drums, which are often constructed from recycled plastic bottles. The parent company Arçelik has created the world’s first built-in synthetic microfibre filtration system, which can remove up to 90% of microplastics from waste water, and in the fight against climate change they are prepared to share this technology with any competitors wishing to use it.
Product: What we love about Grundig is they show that sustainability doesn’t have to be super expensive. If you’re on a budget, we recommend the GW75942TW 9kg Washing Machine, available for around £350-£430 (variable depending on supplier). This machine runs an economical full-load wash in 28 minutes, has automatic water level reduction to minimize your water consumption, and an inverter eco motor which is more energy efficient and quieter.
Company: with the target of carbon neutrality by 2030, LG have ambitious environmental goals. They plan to halve their carbon emissions in the production stage compared to 2017, and then offset the remaining carbon through external carbon reduction. Some of their other targets include achieving a 95% waste recycling rate at production sites by 2030; collecting and treating a total of 4.5 million tons of electronic waste from 2006 to 2030; and using 100% RMAP (Responsible Minerals Assurance Process) conforming smelters by 2021.
Product: the majority of LG’s wide range of washing machines are rated “A” or “B” on the new energy labels, and have smart technology features such as their AI DD – which will detect the weight of your load and softness of fabric to automatically select an optimised washing pattern- making your wash far more eco-friendly. You can even connect your phone to your washing machine using their ThinQ technology, to check how long the cycle has left and view your energy consumption. With machines ranging from around £370 – £1,200 they offer something for everyone, including some of the best quiet machines.
Company: independent and family-owned since its inception in 1899, Miele are passionate about sustainability, winning the German sustainability award in 2014 and working toward carbon neutrality by 2050. Their sustainability report has clearly been thought through, as they align with scientific targets of keeping temperatures below 2°C and consider not only their manufacturing emissions but also emissions during the use of their goods. It is evident from the progress detailed in the 2021 report that this company sets green milestones to achieve them, and not to entice well-meaning consumers.
Product: Whilst definitely more expensive, ranging from £669 – £2,559, Miele washing machines are known to last. They may even end up being more economical in the long run than having to replace a cheaper washing machine every 3-5 years, as Miele washing machines are designed, built and tested with the intention of a 20 year life. All their machines are impressively rated “B” and above on the new energy labels, and some feature their SingleWash, a quick and economical way to wash single items. Their PowerWash technology allows appliances to wash up to 40% more economically than is required for the highest energy rating, and thanks to Spin&Spray, small loads can be washed with very low water level and savings on heating energy.
We do our best to research and find the most environmentally-friendly companies to recommend at GoEco. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future!