What is clean? How often should I wash my clothes? Tip for Sustainable Living

Therefore strive that your actions day by day
may be beautiful prayers.
……………………………………—‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Monthly tips about sustainable living are designed to inspire you to adapt them to your personal circumstances and locale and to help you generate other ideas about how to live a more responsible life, socially and environmentally. If we all pitch in by individually reducing our consumption and adopting a simpler life, we can collectively mitigate the severity of climate change, reduce human suffering, and keep the Earth a livable place for future generations.—CHRISTINE MULLER

“… the Báb consistently emphasizes the idea of purification. All levels of reality, from the material body to the human heart, must be purified. Natural resources must be preserved in the utmost purity.” Nader Saiedi, The Gate of the Heart, p. 315

What is clean? How often should I wash my clothes?

One of the Bahá’i teachings is physical cleanliness. It is good to be aware that our personal cleanliness comes at some cost to the environment. Washing clothes requires water and energy. In many areas of the world, water is scarce, and energy production from fossil fuels is polluting our air and water, which contributes to climate change. Detergents and fabric softeners contribute to environmental pollution.

Nader Saiedi wrote in The Gate of the Heart: “The Báb turns the idea of the purity of water into the protection of the environment. In the Persian Bayan He writes: ‘Nothing is more beloved before God than to keep water in a state of the utmost purity, to such extent that if a believer should become aware that the glass of water he holdeth in his hand hath passed through any impure parts of the earth, he would be grieved.’ In other words, it is implicitly necessary that all streams, lakes, and seas through which the water passes be clean.”

We can conclude that we need moderation in washing our clothes. Some clothes we can wear several days, and some, such as jeans or sweaters that haven’t been soiled, for several weeks. The time you save with washing you can invest in hang drying your laundry which will contribute even more to keep nature in the pure state so desired by the Báb.

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PAST TIPS BY CATEGORIES

Food
Why Eat Organic?
Eat Lower on the Food Chain
Considering Social Justice in Making Food Choices
Give Up Bottled Water—Go Back to the Tap!
Eat Less Beef
Eat Food that is in Season

Home
Shower Less—Cleanliness in the 21st Century
Avoid Plastics
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Recycle Right!
Avoid Single-Use (Disposable) Items
Save Money, Save the Planet by Insulating Your House
Go Solar!
Hang Your Laundry Out to Dry for the Children of the World
Buy Clean Energy
Do a Home Energy Audit!
Search as Service on the Web (Use Ecosia and Plant a Tree)
Clean Safely—Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Your House
Air Conditioning and Moderation

Yard
The Bees and We
Ethical and Easy Lawns
The Joy of Gardening
Do Not Kill—Avoid Toxic Weed Killers in Your Garden and Yard

Transportation
Let’s Go for a Walk or Bike Ride or Car Pool to Meetings
Do Not Idle Your Vehicle
Use a local Car-Share Service

Shopping
Purchase Mindfully—Do I Really Need it?
Shop Smart, Buy in Bulk
Buy Second-Hand Clothing
Choose Reusable Shopping Bags
Shop Locally, Support Local Agriculture
Save and Reuse your Produce Bags

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