Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Hang 'em high

Did you know that on average your home clothes dryer emits 1,446 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere each year? It's one of the most energy intensive appliances you have in your home.

I found this out last month and decided to do something about it. Mostly I thought it would be a real fun project for the kids to hang clothes on a line instead of drying them in the machine. Plus, they were doing a similar project at preschool so it tied in nicely.

Since we live in Seattle, the land of the ever-present drizzle, drying outside is not a good option this time of the year. Couple that with some neighborhood covenants against clotheslines and I had to come up with a different option. Fortunately, our laundry room is huge. It's actually a fairly big waste of space, but it did allow me to string up 3 lines that hold about 2 large loads. It's terribly ugly but I figured it was temporary. I didn't want to do anything permanent until I found out whether or not we would actually use them.

Well, it's been over a month and we've been mostly using the clothes line. I do throw the clothes (after they are dry) in the dryer with a wet towel for about 10 minutes to remove the stiffness and voila! they are as good as if they were in the dryer the whole time.

Because the experiment was a success, I bought a real clothes line system. I haven't yet installed it, but it will definitely increase the amount of clothes we can hang at one time and also make the place look less crazy.

Read this for some other ideas on how to reduce your global warming emissions.


Jane said...

I got an amazing drying rack at IKEA that depending on what I wash holds up to two loads at a time. It is metal and powder coated so it doesn't rust or leave mold marks like the wooden ones I have had in the past. I set it up in our living room because we only have three rooms. Then it folds and fits behind a dresser.

Anonymous said...

To bring in sun dried sheets, make the bed and jump into those fresh, crisp sheets that still smell of sunlight and the outdoors is one of my favorite things.

Kathleen Norris in "Dakota" (copyright 1993) writes one segment on hanging out laundry:
"Hanging up wet clothes gives me time alone under the sky to think, to grieve, and gathering the clean clothes in, smelling the sunlight on them, is victory." (pg. 89, 'Weather Report, June 30)

reading this was when I realized that in some weird way hanging out the laundry is poetry. A zen way of being taking time to be in the moment, the process of shaking out each piece, pinning it up, moving on to the next item in the basket.

and since I got here via the 'cloth wipe challenge' I would point out that sunlight is a great cootie zapper!