Monday, May 3, 2010

Clothesline??? Why would I do it?

I keep getting crazier and crazier.  (-;  I have a perfectly working dryer. Energy Efficient at that too--  We have a lot of laundry each week between the four of us.  Already I spend quite a bit of time collecting it, putting it in the w/d and then sorting and folding.  Why oh why do I want to make more work for myself?  I haven't hung up my laundry since I left home in 92.  (we didn't own a dryer in my childhood home)  I have enjoyed those soft towels.. 

Isn't the product superior---you get softer clotes, etc  if you use a dryer??

Yet, we are doing it.  As of last week, we are hanging our clothes up in our "heated" basement until we can hang them outside.  So far so good, but my towels are definitely not as soft..  (-;

Why---Well, we are trying to become less dependent upon appliances.  Simplifying..  And, we'll probably save $20-30/month on electricity..Not to mention the fact  that using less electricity is better for the planet.

Honestly, it isn't that much more work.  It is one of those "in between" tasks..  a little bit here and there..  So, far, I feel proud of the change and it hasn't been hard.  Suppose when the newness wears off, I"ll feel more bored with it..less proud..  However, I have not regretted handwashing dishes...I still feel like we are doing the right thing by not getting a new dishwasher.  Feeling one step more indpendent from "things" that are often designed to break in a couple to a few years..  What I am tired of is being locked into being dependent on things that are so poorly made/designed..and feeling that I have to replace them when they do break..  I know I am not exactly living "off grid", but these are little steps towards being more "independent"

The fact, my clothes aren't as soft---Well, I lived 19 years that way and didn't really care then..  I don't think it really matters now either.. 

Some background from Radical Homemakers.
"devices were invented during the first one hundred years of the industrial revolution with the intention of easing household burdens, but in truth, says Schwartz Cowan, they did nothing to spare the hosuewife labor; they simply reorganized her work processes." page 68..."Del Monte, whose copywriters were soon able to convince housewives that factory-canned goods were superior to what they could produce at home...(p. 70)

So, this is why we have been thinking that "store bought is superior"--sometimes, it may seem so.  For example, I can't quite get my homemade bread to work as well for sandwhiches as the store-bought kind..  (but that is because in my mind a sandwhich has thin bread that is soft and full of gluten.. My sandwiches are thick and more crumbly.  My laundry is not as soft.  My soap has imperfections in it..  For some, there is great appeal for the "imperfections"..for others, they wish to have it "factory-cut and processed so that it looks perfectly measured and colored and uniform..  (and soft)

We've been conditioned and manipulated into thinking that factory/canned/bought is superior.  In fact, the truth, is quite the opposite. For example, clothes that are line-dryed last longer..  Canned food can be contaminated with BPA from the can..and can be so highly processed.  I think most people(now) agree that fresh asparagus is highly superior to the canned version..  Canned and processed food is losing its integrity---Evidence of that rests in movies like Food, Inc.  People are becoming more aware.

Yes, it is more work (maybe)..But honestly, I think the work part is more of a change in "organization"..In my opinion the dishwasher saving time is almost completely a myth...  (considering you still have to rinse, and still hand wash pots and pans.  If you have a 3 tub system, it goes really fast. The first tub is for soaking (pre-wash) Second tub washes, Third rinses.  (then use your old dishwasher as a dry rack)  (-; 

Some more references and reasons to clothesline suppose one shouldn’t be too surprised. But, when Project Laundry List inform us that electric clothes dryers use 6 % of residential electricity in the United States, while the US Department of Energy rate them as the second biggest muncher of household energy, maybe that aversion needs redressing." 

Top Ten Reasons to Line Dry (from the above link-laundrylist)

10) Save money (more than $25/month off electric bill for many households). 9) Clothes last longer. Where do you think lint comes from?

8) Clothes and linens smell better without adding possibly toxic chemicals to your body and the environment. Yankee Candle thinks so...

7) Conserve energy and the environment, while reducing climate change. Learn how!

6) It is moderate physical activity which you can do in or outside. You can even lose weight!

5) Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.

4) Indoor racks can humidify in dry winter weather.

3) Clothes dryer and washing machine fires account for about 17,700 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 360 injuries annually. The yearly national fire loss for clothes dryer fires in structures is estimated at $194 million.

2) It is fun! And can be an outdoor experience that is meditative and community-building.

1) Demonstrates that small steps can make a difference. You don't have to wait for the government to take action!


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