Friday, July 22, 2011

Laundry day

OK,ok,I know this has nothing to do with gardening.However,it has everything to do with being more self reliant as well as leaving a smaller foot print on our planet Mother Earth.

Where we used to live an outdoor clothes line was forbidden,now that we have a place to call our own,the clothes line is in place.This was actually a Christmas gift from my parents a few years ago,but it wasn't until after they gave it to me that we discovered they were against the rules of the park where we lived.

With the high of 97 here yesterday it would have been just plain dumb to run the electric clothes drier.I don't like using it,but it has been difficult to convince my husband to hang the clothes out on the line,until yesterday.Since I'm home far less than he is,he does the majority if the household chores,and sometimes it takes a little prodding on my part to get him to change the way he's doing something.

Everyone has a reason either using a clothes line,or not,but for the vast majority,it's because they're lazy.It takes effort to take the clothes out of the wash,put them in a basket and haul it outside,then to hang them up on the line,and when they are dry,go out take them back down and bring them in....yep,much more work than tossing them into an electric or gas drier and hitting a button....

BUT,look at it from my prospective for just a moment.

Are you really so busy that you can't take an extra 5 minutes to hang a load of laundry outside on the line?

Have you shopped for newer energy efficient appliances lately? Notice that there aren't clothes driers labeled with the energy star rating? Yep,they don't exist,at least not the last time I went shopping for one.That may have changed,or it may not have.That's because it takes SO MUCH energy to dry one load of laundry,that they can not be labeled Energy Star Rated.

How much electricity does your clothes drier use?Look into it,it might surprise you.Somewhere on your appliance should be a little white or yellow label,on there it will state the approximate monthly cost or yearly cost to run it. What does it cost you per year to run the clothes drier?

What about the environmental costs? It takes fuel from coal,nuclear power,hydro stations,etc,etc to get the electricity to your house to run that machine so you can have dry clothes.The major part of where we get out energy from in NON RENEWABLE sources,meaning,once it's gone,it's gone,there is no more.Remember too that it take additional fuel to get the coal,etc, to the power plant to create that energy so you can run that appliance.

If everyone who uses the electrical utility system were to do just one thing to reduce energy usage,cutting out the clothes drier could be the easiest,and have the biggest impact on energy usage.

I'm not saying that clothes driers are all that bad,I mean,when it's raining,the clothes won't get dry,or in the winter,they will "freeze dry" in a few days,so there are a few advantages to using a clothes drier.but in the spring-fall parts of the year,it only takes an extra few minutes of effort to reduce your energy output.

In times like this week,where we've hit nearly record highs for Michigan temps,even just a small effort can help ease the burden of our over taxed,outdated,electrical system.

I'm not saying turn off the a/c,and get rid of the clothes drier,but what I am saying is take baby steps,if every household did just a little bit to reduce their energy output,there wouldn't be as many outages as there have been,rolling blackouts,etc, do just a little....


  1. I've thought about hanging a laundry line in the garage, but haven't done it yet, since they are supposed to be renovating the garage and I don't want to get busted. Once that's done, no one would ever see it though, not with the corn being as high as it is!

  2. Good plan! When we lived in the trailer park,we had a spare room that we hung a drying rack from the ceiling,since we couldn't have a clothesline outside.Use that same rack in he basement here now.

  3. The dryer here is broken and has been since before I arrived, lol! Of course, since we have such low humidity, clothes actually dry on the line faster than they would in the dryer!