Friday, August 21, 2009

the clothes line

My lovely husband made us a clothes line. It is sturdy and functional, with plenty of room on three long lines, and the beautiful green color makes it blend in elegantly with its surroundings. I love to hang out my clothes in the warm summer breeze. It is quick, the laundry smells delicious, and it is easy to fold and sort the dry clothes as you take them down. Line drying our laundry makes me feel good about saving both money and energy, but what are the true facts behind line drying vs. tumbling?

Dryers consume about 6 - 8% of a households monthly electricity use. For us that would mean $9 - 10 in savings per month. Not a lot of money, but it adds up. When you consider that a clothes dryer uses 1800 to 5000 watts per hour it is still a worthwhile thing to do. 1.5 pounds of carbon emissions per kilowatt hour are generated in the production of electricity by a coal fired power station. Another benefit is that air drying makes your clothes last longer, and the sun acts as a natural bleach and disinfectant. It also gives you a tiny bit of exercise and precious fresh air time.

We are fortunate to live in an area where outdoor clothes drying is allowed, but in many places in the US that is not the case, especially in planned developments. For some reason clothes on a line are considered an eye sore and a threat to property values. If you are interested in preserving your laundry rights you can join the right to dry movement, you can also sign an online petition to encourage our first family to line dry their clothes for one day to set a good example.

8 comments:

cindy said...

i can't even tell you how much i miss my mom's clothesline and the fragrance of the clothes once dry. they would be whiter, too. we never owned a dryer or a dishwasher for that matter. i love this post, especially your photos. your husband did a wonderful job making the clothesline for you and the color is great!

hannah said...

I really love my clothesline too. I see putting up and taking down clothes as my personal meditation stillness time. Its only about 20 mins a day, but I really feel at odds if I miss my line time.

roisin said...

this is also one of my favorite things to do as well, the smell in incomparable!

we have a very large and beautiful black walnut tree in our yard, and every other year when it produces fruit, the squirrels busily eating away in the branches drop bits and stain everything!

isabelle said...

I love your clothes lines too !!

Mary Q Contrarie said...

You have a great clothesline. I do not have a yard. So I have found lots of the same benefits by using a clothes drying rack on my balcony.

Evelyne said...

I have been living for 4 years in Italy in a beautiful and very chic aera "la Crocetta" Torino. Here the drying rack is near the Kitchen, outside the balcony...In Paris isn't authorized !!!!

jane said...

yeah i agree. only a small percentage of spaniards use dryers. firstly because the cost of running one a year could fund a small country- and second they think dryers ruin your clothes. wish more americans thought like you do... besos-jane p.s. your photos are gorgeous!

fibrefinger said...

I never imagined that line drying could be banned! What a crazy world we live in. Keep flagging it! Thanks for a lovely post.

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