Monday, February 22, 2010

Hangin' Out

A couple of weeks ago, I had a thought: Can I use my clothesline in the winter??

I posed the question to my Mom and husband, who said, "Why couldn't you??"

I don't know why I didn't think about it sooner... our winters (for the most part) are mild...

So... over the weekend I decided to hang my freshly washed (and detergent-free!) sheets out on the clothesline. The weather was cool with a nice breeze... mid-50's... hmmm... saying that I'm thinking that my family in Iowa would think that's a heatwave ;) Anyway, the sheets were dry in no time!! Sheets are by far my most favorite thing to hang out on the line... the feeling (and, of course, the scent) they get from blowing in the wind, can't possibly be replicated by the dryer. Usually one to procrastinate in making my bed, I actually made my bed right away... and was happy to do it. The sheets were crisp and cool... AND... I just couldn't get over the smell...ahhhh..... the scent of fresh air... seriously, companies try to bottle this scent... and people pay $$ for it!!

After the reminder of how great it is to use the clothesline...yesterday, I decided to keep it up. The weather was absolutely beautiful... low 60's with a nice breeze. It was hard to believe that only a week ago we had snow on the ground. Now, we had a Spring teaser... and I loved every second of it. Needless to say, it only made sense to hang out ALL of my laundry. By the time one load of laundry had dried on the line, another was ready
to be hung up. At the end of the day, I did four loads of laundry and had every bit folded an put away!
Besides the scent of fresh air on my laundry, I find that I'm more apt to fold laundry from the clothesline. Why? Well, with the dryer I pull everything out and put it in a basket to be carried to another room to be folded... which more often than not gets put off because something else has come up. BUT outside, as I take a clothespin off, I fold the laundry straight in
to the basket. I've often thought to myself, "Why don't I do this with clothes from the dryer?" Plain and simple, on the line... I hang the clothes up in order (of where they'll go), they're already laid out for digging for matching anything... and let's be realistic... it's a lot nicer standing outside folding laundry than it is sitting in a laundry room:)

So... from this point forward, I'm making the commitment to use my clothesline as my main source for drying our clothes. The dryer will be used only when it's: freezing cold, too humid, or raining.

Wondering about what impact not using a dryer has?

BENEFITS for the Environment:

Clothes dryers use an average of nearly 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. When you consider that a typical household in the United States consumes a total of about 11,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year; your clothes dryer could be accounting for ten percent of your total electricity use! Not to mention the fact that the majority of the electricity in the United States is generated by burning fossil fuels. Obviously, the burning of fossil fuels is associated with many harmful environmental effects, such as global warming, air pollution, water and land pollution.
BENEFITS for Your Wallet:

Each year, it costs about $130 just to run a clothes dryer. Energy from the wind and sun... now that's FREE!
BENEFITS for Your Clothes:

The dryer can wear down the material of your clothes, especially undergarments, clothing with elastic, sweaters, and other delicates. Line-drying your clothes helps make your clothes last longer. Hmmm... longer lasting clothes? That saves resources too :)