Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saving Energy and Other Lame Thoughts about the BP Spill

I was talking to a friend last night at a party, and she said that she had started hanging her clothes out to dry instead of using her dryer. In addition to saving energy (the biggest reason she does it), it's evidently easier on your clothes. When I mentioned it to my mother, she thought I was nuts and claimed that it looks so terrible. I don't care about the looks of it,  and at risk of seeming incredibly bourgeois bohemian, I'd love to know if any of you do this.

Next, I'm thinking about starting a vegetable garden.


  1. last night i went to sleep in sheets the scent of summer breezes.
    is heaven any sweeter?

    today the line is dancing with our everyday clothes.

    certainly the birds are not offended by these human prayer flags of daily life.

    this morning all the emerging beans, squash and lengthening tomato plants, peppers, basil, lavender and rosemary sing out the promise of our favorite summer fair. each tendril of emerging life serves to lift my heart, long before it feeds my body.
    sometimes the garden is my savior in ways nothing else reaffirms me.

    clotheslines and gardens...
    dependable life lines.

  2. I love hanging my clothes on the line. And do it all the time. And of course- I have a garden. And the chickens which make poop which goes on the garden. Those olden day people knew a thing or two that I'm spending a lifetime trying to learn.

  3. not now. did though.
    we have a kitchen /herb garden and I hang sports equipment out to dry so it won't clunk around in the dryer.

    in our previous house I rarely used the dryer, used cloth diapers, no air conditioning or dishwasher. Grew veggies, canned, jarred, made bread etc.

    We are spoiled now. However we try to be conscientious . We have neighbours who use their air conditioning from March -November 24/7, etc etc.
    There are many ways to leave less of a carbon print or however you term it. Doing something is better than apathy, but who knows how much it matters.
    Not me.

    and can I tell you a little sob story? My hubbies hybrid company car just about killed me last night.
    My daughter and I pulled in the driveway, and we haven't quite figured out what happened, but to turn the car on and off it's a button, not a key ignition.. and you can't hear the engine when it's running on battery. it takes some getting used to.
    Anyway... the car started rolling back down the driveway and I channelled old Bionic Woman fantasies and tried to get into the car to put the brake on . Not a good idea. The big ol' door bashed me to the ground, I managed to save myself from getting run over, just knicked my foot. I think there was some tumbling involved. Lots of screaming. Road rash. Serious scary bruising, and a wrenched back and hips. I am on every med in the house, trying to be "okay". The neighbours are mad , the ones who were outside witnesses because I didn't let them call an ambulance when they scraped off the road ( don't know how I ended up so far ) But hey, I'm tough like that.

    love ya

    is Sophie okay?

  4. I used to hang the laundry to dry. I liked doing it, it was peaceful, and Amelia liked lying underneath the moving shadows, and it was always entertaining to see the wind occupying things we wear as they wiggled and gestured in the sun. But now there is so, so much laundry, I have no time to clip and unclip each item and carry baskets in and out, can't even keep up with folding. I have a super efficient, low water and energy usage Swedish washing machine that spins everything like a jet plane taking off, so it's practically dry anyway by the time I haul it to the dryer. But yes, the dryer makes fabric threadbare. I've never figured out a use for the dryer fluff that has to be removed from the screen all the time. Stuffing for.....? Like figuring out a use for dog hair.....

  5. We started hanging our laundry to dry 2 years ago and now save $100 a month on our electric it's better for the environment too.

  6. Very little hang drying here.

    Love the veggie garden.

    My grandmother did both -- garden enough veggies for her whole neighborhood and hang dry absolutely everything -- and this post reminded me of her.

  7. Yes, when it's warm and dry enough here (about 3 months per year), I prefer to hang our clothes out to dry. I found a wonderful folding rack at a local hardware store (like the one we used in France). They also have them at Costco. It only makes sense, and particularly where you have plenty of sunshine!

    I also believe that the government needs to support the use of passive solar energy in the south, and by that, I mean aggressively support it with taxes and tax rebates. We can't even run solar lights up here (not enough sunlight), but one could in the south, and it is ridiculous NOT to put this clean source of energy to use! Thank you for bringing it up.

  8. I swear that it actually takes less time to dry a load of clothes on the line than to throw it in the dryer on these hot summer days. And my kids love to run in and out of the sheets as they blow in the breeze. And sometimes? They take a break from their playing, snatch whatever is ripe in the garden to eat as they run -- and what could be lovelier?

  9. Mr Curry thinks our neighbors would complain if we did that...and he's probably right :(

  10. I think that there is nothing more beautiful than clothing hanging on a line...

  11. I hang most of our clothes to dry, but not outside, in the basement. I can't tolerate the pollen that clings to the clothes as they dry outside, but I do believe it is a beautiful thing--clothes blowing in the breeze.

    And I used to plant a vegetable garden, but then we started spending our summers away and it went to waste.

    But yes, I would and think we all should if it makes sense for our families. Use less, take up less space... all good.

  12. We don't have a dryer, though we hang our clothes inside because of polution, allergies and the birds poop on our stuff.

  13. I'm glad you posted this. I've been thinking of getting a renegade collapsible hanging tree. They're not allowed in the neighborhood...

    I'd love to have a garden but its a fight here with drought and deer. So we're buying shares in a CSA and going to the (recent and wonderful, locally-sourced, mostly organic) farmer's market. Great produce, beef, lamb, dairy as well as fruits and veggies. And I'm lucky to have friends with gardens who share overages.

  14. I'd love to do both, just a matter of figuring out where to fit it in!

  15. Of course I do. My whole nation does. We simply don't have driers. We live with mountains of wet laundry hanging on the drying rack in the middle of our living rooms in winter, and in summer we spend our days running in and out, hanging laundry on the line and rushing it back in when it starts raining.
    I confess I cringe a little when I see photos of pretty laundry drying in the wind, and read about the whitening effects of the sun: there's nothing bucolic or magic about drying laundry on a line. It takes time and space, but, yes, it saves energy and it's very doable.
    And I grow a vegetable garden:)

  16. I don't think it looks terrible, I think it looks cool!

  17. I love to hang my sheets and towels out on the line to dry. My neighbor hates laundry lines and I don't care.

    My mum always hung out the laundry until it was too cold. Fresh smells so good.

  18. jip, we do that. And we live in an estate filled with wealthy people that think since we pay for electricity, we should get to use it. But we don't. We turn of lights when no one is using the room or area. We don't keep our lights outside burning all through the night. We don't have a manicured lawn because we only water twice a week in summer and once a week in winter. Grass, as far as I am concerned, is not that important.

    And we hang our washing out to dry. Silly us.

    We have a vegetable garden which is very neglected due to the birth our little girl about 16 months ago. We love her and hope to get at least some time allocated to us again soon. In the meantime I am buying seeds whenever I can in preparation for this time.

    I think it is great that you are willing to do this thing.

    And I hope we don't get asked to leave soon due to our bohemian and hippy ways.

  19. I always hang my clothes out and I think it looks nifty! Plus, my jeans stay blue longer and nothing needs to be ironed (like I would even iron it if it did...)

    As to veggies -- hooray! Nothing like eating something, anything, you grew yourself. When my tomatoes are ripe, I will make you a kickass BLT.

  20. I live in a condo now, but when I had my house I hung my clothes out from spring til fall. I really, really, really miss line-dried sheets.

    I got a lot of pleasure in hanging out my clothes, arranging them just so. It was one of my favourite tasks. I think clothes hanging on the line is beautiful! They way they drift in the breeze... And this day and age, it's just the right thing to do.

  21. I loved hanging out my laundry the month I lived in France. I hate this silly all for appearances condo living beige world I'm now in. We can't even hang a bathing suit or a wet bath mat over our balcony railings. They plant more bougainvillea or hibiscus instead of orange or lemon trees. In my fantasy, we'd have figs and grapes and our laundry dangling in the breeze. Oh and how about a chicken coop.........of course none of this works without feral cats and dogs to scare away the rats. Too much civilization.

  22. My mother always hung our clothes on the line, and I have such fond memories of it. But here in the barrio of LA where I live, I worry that the air is too dirty. Am I crazy? Maybe I'll give it a try with stuff like sheets and table clothes.



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