Clotheslines, by Charlotte Sullivan, Best Made Guide to Urban Homesteading
When making a list of all the things there are to love about spring (polychromatic color palette, above-freezing temperatures, asparagus), the clothesline should not be forgotten. Like the thrill of seeing the first crocuses come up in March, there is cause for celebration when you can finally hang your clothes outside to dry.
There is simply no reason to use a drier if you have access to a clothesline or drying rack in your home. Understandably, city dwellers who use laundromats probably don’t want to lug their damp clothing home just to save money and energy on the drying process. As more of a country-dweller I enjoy the luxury of having a washer/drier in the home (and clothesline in the backyard) - but then, I miss out on people watching at the laundromat. Not to mention the meditative opportunities offered by the front loading washing machines. Clearly there are pros and cons to each set of laundry-related living conditions.
Here are 5 reasons I’ll share in support of air-drying your clothes:
1) It saves you money: Over its expected lifetime of 18 years, the average clothes dryer will cost approximately $1,530 to operate. (This number is based on individuals that do laundry in their homes, not laundromats, where the cost of drying clothes is much higher). Source: Flex Your Power: California’s statewide energy efficiency marketing and outreach campaign.
2) It saves energy: In 2001, about 5.8% of residential electricity went towards using a clothes drier.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. If all Americans would use clotheslines or drying racks, the savings would be enough to close several power plants. Source: Project Laundry List
3) It is not noisy.
4) Your clothes will smell amazing.
5) The clothesline presents an opportunity for creative expression. There are many ways to hang your clothes out to dry, for example:
a) Totally random: you just hang out to dry your clothes in whatever order you happen to pick them up.
b) By type (ascending/descending order optional): First socks, second short sleeved shirts, third long sleeves, fourth pants, etc…
c) Rainbow: Arrange your clothes in a rainbow spectrum or some other color coordinated way.
d) Whites: For those that separate their laundry, an all white laundry line is always stunning.
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