Laundry detergent and soaps are about as good for the environment as pouring bleach down the drain. While they have improved drastically over the years, detergents are still mostly chemicals, unfamiliar to the natural world. They are harmful to the environment but have been viewed by many as a necessary evil. Afterall, even as Earth loving green conscious people, do we really need the smelly hippie image? No. I like to smell good, at least decent.
Soapnuts are a great alternative. Eastern societies have used them for centuries to clean their clothes. They actually produce a soapy froth due to the saponin found in them.
What’s makes this better? Electrolux has picked up on it and it looks like its coming to market in a few years as nice washing machine. The Daily Mail has the whole story.