I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about Tru Earth Laundry Strips.
This blog was founded thanks to one of my very first zero-waste lifestyle choices: cloth diapers. After nine years of consistent cloth diaper usage for four children, so many other ways to reduce waste have infiltrated my life. It’s a bit like getting a tattoo … once you start, it becomes easier and easier to add more! Once you make one zero-waste adjustment to your daily routine, new ones tend to follow.
For lots of households, some of my higher commitment swaps can seem daunting. Our use of cloth diapers, cloth menstrual pads, reusable toilet paper and handkerchiefs place us firmly in the “granola” camp of zero-waste lifestyle choices.
But what if I told you that there was a space-saving, time-saving and truly low-impact product you could switch to easily? A kind of gateway drug into the waste-reducing mode de vie?
And that it actually works.
And that it’s made in Canada.
Tru Earth Laundry Strips are to laundry what the stainless steel water bottle is to vending machine water bottle. They easily do the same job while almost entirely eliminating the waste.
We started using Tru Earth Laundry Strips in the spring of 2020, so I feel well-placed to tell you about them. I’m going to tell you five things we love about Tru Earth Laundry Strips, especially their Platinum, unscented formula, which is my favourite.
Tru Earth Laundry Strips Truth #1: Low impact laundry detergent
Social media is full of cleaning products using unregulated but catchy marketing terms like “eco-friendly,” “zero-waste” and the ubiquitous-yet-vague “green.”
No amount of slick marketing can overcome some of the mental gymnastics required to give credence to many of these claims. I am sick of seeing products touted as recyclable―with the catch being you need to mail it back to the company. Or seeing “green” products manufactured and shipped from another continent when perfectly good versions exist locally. Or “zero-waste” products that break after a few uses sold in three layers of hard plastic clamshell.
The zero-waste revolution of Tru Earth Laundry Strips is simple and undeniable: we all do laundry.
Laundry detergent―whether powder or liquid―is heavy and needs to be shipped to the consumer. A 32-load package of Tru Earth Laundry Detergent Strips is thinner than a deck of cards and lighter than a paperback novel. If we are looking at the emissions footprint from transport alone, the difference is irrefutable. They’ve got the numbers to back it up, but if you’ve ever carried a jug or box of detergent home from the grocery store on foot or on your bike, I think you’ll understand how big of a difference this makes in terms of energy expended to get the product from the point of manufacture to point of sale and on to the consumer.
Being cardboard, the packaging itself is entirely biodegradable or recyclable. The strips are paraben-free, phosphate-free, free of added dyes, readily biodegradable and vegan. They are third-party tested to be free of 1,4 dioxane. If you’re already using a more eco-friendly detergent, powdered or liquid, you’re looking at similar ingredients (full ingredient list can be found here), but without the plastic jug or cumbersome box and plastic scoop.
Tru Earth Laundry Strips Truth #2: Perfect for small spaces or travel
Many folks are intentionally opting to live in smaller spaces for environmental reasons, while others have a laundry machine in a tiny closet or even in their kitchen because, well, real estate is expensive. Still others need to lug their washing to the laundromat or to the machines in the building’s basement. And if you’re backpacking across Europe, you’re not going to want to carry a baggie of white powder in your luggage for washing your undies.
I, for one, like to stockpile and get anxiety about needing to restock when I’m halfway through any given cleaning supply.
A year’s worth of Tru Earth Laundry Strips fit in a box smaller than a shoe box. So whether you’re lacking storage space in a cupboard or in your suitcase, or you just like being well stocked in case a global pandemic shuts down supply chains, Tru Earth Laundry Strips are the perfect solution for you.
Tru Earth Laundry Strips Truth #3: Ideal for getting kids to do their own laundry
If you’ve ever seen a child pour milk from a 4 litre jug, you know you’re not letting them pour laundry detergent out of a bottle or scoop it out of a box.
Even adults seem ill-equipped for correctly dosing their laundry detergent.
When we first moved into our condo a few years ago, I opened the laundry machine lid to discover that for years, the previous owners had been pouring laundry detergent on top of the machine’s agitator, which clearly never got submerged in water during a wash cycle, so it was coated in inches and inches of gelatinous, bright blue detergent.
Tru Earth Laundry Strips are simply placed in the detergent tray or directly in the barrel of your machine. No drips of fluorescent liquid slowly cascading down the side of your machine; no light dustings of powder over every uncovered object in the mudroom.
Best of all, there’s no need to measure. The strips come in sheets of two. Tear along the perforation and remember that one strip is for one load of laundry. If you’re not sure if you should use two strips or just half a strip, check this video:
My 6-year-old and 9-year-old are now in charge of doing their laundry every weekend, and it is magnificent. I am loathe to get them to help with chores that end with me having to do more work than if I just did it myself in the first place. (I know there’s value in that but my goodness do I lack the patience.) To do their laundry, they just tear off a strip of Tru Earth and place it in the detergent tray (which my daughter can safely do on tiptoes since it’s not going to spill). They know what buttons to press, including the “play” button to get the cycle started, and the job is done.
If you’ve ever tried to get every last drop out of a jug of laundry detergent, you’ll also appreciate that it’s impossible to waste laundry strips!
If Tru Earth can also provide some kind of automatic folding machine, that would be greatly appreciated!
Tru Earth Laundry Strips Truth #4: Effective for household laundry
But does it work?
I use on our clothes and bedding, and even on our dish towels. Because we use almost no paper towels, I accumulate rags and cloths in the kitchen very quickly and do a load every two to three days. It’s easy to tell when kitchen rags aren’t coming out clean―there’s that distinctive musty smell they have coming out of the washer. Happy to report the Platinum strips leave them smelling fresh and clean! (Even the unscented version!)
To wash my twins’ cloth training pants, which have been catching their fair share of number twos lately (sigh), I do a quick wash, cold cycle using half a strip, then a full cycle with hot water (I add in other clothes at this point) with one strip. I was skeptical that poopy trainers would come clean, but they definitely do. I use Tru Earth strips primarily with cold water, but switch to hot for heavy soils.
I know that many will be curious if I would recommend washing cloth diapers with Tru Earth. I can only say that I haven’t tried, and when we were still using cloth, I was not interested in switching away from a wash routine that was working for us. Because of the huge variation in washer types and water softness or hardness, what may work for some will not work for all when it comes to choosing a laundry product for cloth.
I would recommend pre-treating or soaking any items with dried, set-in stains before washing with Tru Earth Platinum for best results. However, our recent tests on fresh blood stains from a nosebleed, chocolate milk spills on T-shirts and grape juice floods on cushion covers proved successful!
Tru Earth Laundry Strips Truth #5: Not just for hardcore greenies
The zero-waste lifestyle space can be really judgy and heavy on the gatekeeping. And while it is amazing that some folks are able to contain an entire year’s waste to a small mason jar, don’t think that just because that seems completely unattainable that it isn’t worth trying to cut back on your own household’s waste output.
You do not have to be perfect in your quest for waste reduction.
Don’t underestimate the impact of making a few targeted, waste-reducing changes in your life. Start with what’s easy: using Tru Earth Laundry Strips is easy. Remember that this isn’t a zero-sum game. I use Tru Earth on the majority of our laundry, but still have other products on hand for certain jobs. I have cut down on single-use packaging in the laundry room by at least 80%.
You may just gain enough satisfaction from taking this one step that you try another, and another, until you’re ready for the next toilet paper shortage because you wash and reuse your own!
Try Tru Earth Laundry Strips Today
You can save 10% on your Tru Earth purchase using code DEN10 at Tru.Earth.