Meet the clothesline. Until about 60 years ago they were pretty common until the clothes dryer took over – that is in the United States. The rest of the world does not use them as we do – including Europe. Everyday in this country, people stuff their clothes in a clothes dryer, press on and don’t give it a second thought even when it’s blazing hot outside. It’s a habit which should be questioned when the sun and wind can dry your clothes for free saving money and energy. Additonally, air drying is much easier on clothing making them last and look better longer. They will also smell nice and fresh. You won’t need to buy that fresh scent laundry detergent anymore.
Okay, so here are some common excuses….
I’m too busy: Consider slowing down. Going outside and hanging laundry is actually relaxing and rather meditative. Streamline the task by learning to pin one item’s edge to the other, halving the number of clothespins you need. For small items like socks and underwear, pin several together or drape over the laundry basket without pins. Have your partner or kids join in.
Hanging laundry looks unsightly: Change this cultural perspective to “it looks homey and quaint” (while saving energy). As for homeowner’s association restrictions- challenge them!
Air drying makes clothing stiff: They do quickly soften with use but if that doesn’t work for you, put them in the dryer on air fluff for 10 minutes.
The climate isn’t condusive/ I live in an apartment: I use my clothes dryer during cold, wet weather BUT I also use a folding clothes drying rack to hang towels, blue jeans, delicates and whatever else I can fit on it. These are a mainstay in other countries. Even this step will reduce dryer time considerably.
Try it out. Small steps like just hanging heavy items is a start, or maybe air drying every other load. You might just like the independence of using solar energy!
Here’s and entertaining and informative one minute video on the subject courtesy of Real Simple Magazine
Also blogging on byalannapass.com
Drawing by the author