Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Living 03

One of my favorite ways to save money, save energy, and reduce use of fossil fuels is to.......

Hang out the laundry.

This particular style of laundry line was perfected by my Dad, relying on a ready supply of long, forked sticks for propping up the line on Winterberry Farm.

Our friend Dale was a bit skeptical of the physics of this technique. I assured him that my family has used it for decades. And if the stick falls down you pick it back up. You use several sticks at a time along the line, so the clothes never drag in the grass.

A few years ago we added three lines off the back of our deck, much to the delight of my mother-in-law, who loves to do laundry (isn't that great!). She could now hang her saris to dry in the breeze.

The sun and the wind, the only two things you need to dry your clothes, but it works on overcast days too! When it rains for days on end (that sounds a bit like June 2009), we have some lines and racks in the basement. We do have an electric dryer which we use for some final drying during long periods of inclement weather. And in winter, the towels and such get tossed in the dryer. Our other solar-powered clothesline is buried under snow most of the winter.

A few neighbors (okay one) hangs her laundry out year-round. The clothes are stiff as a board but dry. Another neighbor seems to hang out his laundry only when it rains. We're not sure of his technique. Mostly though, we see few people hanging out their laundry to dry in the sun. This boggles the mind, given the cost (in dollars and environment) of using electricity to dry clothes. And clothes smell so nice when warmed by the sun. Some of our neighbors use the totally unnecessary dryer fabric softeners. We know because we can smell it on our morning walks. I really hate that smell!

The sun is shining this morning. Time to hang out the clothes.

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