Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Enviro-Girl's Favorite Heirloom

It's April, which means Enviro-Girl makes the official switch from drying laundry indoors in her 12-year-old GE 5-cycle automatic dryer to drying laundry outdoors using these:

Enviro-Girl's grandfather was a welder and inventor by trade and years ago he made these Super Sturdy Steel Clothesline Poles for Enviro-Girl's mother. Because of the portion of gypsy blood in Enviro-Girl's father, the poles were donated to Enviro-Girl after he'd dug them out of the ground four different times in four different backyards. Enviro-Girl and Mr. D have moved these poles once (and Mr. D vows for a final time).

A typical clothes dryer uses the most energy of any household appliance (second only to the refrigerator) while fresh air and sunshine are free. (A length of clothesline and 100 clothespins cost less than $10.) Sure, it takes Enviro-Girl extra time and effort to pull the wet clothes outside and pin them to the lines, but she's rewarded by getting to be outside more and by the fresh smell of her laundry when she brings it in--a smell unparalleled by any dryer sheet or fabric softener on the market. This smell makes climbing into fresh-aired sheets akin to creme brulee or a fresh-washed baby. Some folks complain that air-dried laundry is too stiff and coarse, but for the Ultra-Picky, a 5 minute tussle in the clothes dryer will soften fabrics with less environmental toll than a regular drying cycle. Enviro-Girl counters that the stiff towels have an exfolliating benefit to her superhero skin, anyway. And she's learned that few things give small children more pleasure than playing tag through laundry hung out to dry.

The Clothesline, a nifty throwback to old-school housekeeping and Enviro-Girl's Weapon of Choice for Cleaner & Environmentally-Friendly Laundry. She'd use it year-round if she didn't live in Wisconsin!


17 comments:

  1. Ooo, Sheets fresh from the line... Yum. (but I still won't display my double d dainties out back!)

    Thanks for stopping by to comment at Canned Laughter. You have been entered to win in the stationery give away. Good Luck!

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  2. I have some friends in Japan. They don't even have dryers there.

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  3. do things still end up a little stiff if you use some fabric softener in the washing machine?

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  4. I don't know, Blackbird. I've never used fabric softener in my washing machine. (go ahead, judge me)

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  5. I love fresh outside drying!

    And am really thrilled that my blog has helped :)

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  6. This will drive you crazy to hear, but...our housing association outlawed outside clotheslines years ago. Unsightly, they said...

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  7. Brilliant - green AND smells good!

    I don't have a dryer - in the winter I dry/iron things on the Aga, in the spring / summer I use the washing line...love seeing things flapping in the breeze - especially sheets!

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  8. Fabric softener? What's that? (I jest, but I've never used it.)

    What inquiring minds really want to know is the story about the tent city in your backyard.

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  9. I'm with you Enviro-Girl. As soon as the wet clothes won't freeze, we put them on the line -- I know that dryer is the biggest energy pig. Happy spring to us, neighbor. We've earned this spot of green.

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  10. I grew up in the country - there is nothing nicer than getting into a bed of freshly dried sheets - a good bath, a bedtime story, robin songs, frogs, crickets - oooh, I've wandered into the past and pure bliss with the thoughts of that lovely smell. Oh, thanks for the memories (we are not allowed a clothesline in our area!!) the fan

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  11. It's not allowed in my development either. I wish we lived somewhere I could do this.

    Love the smell.

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  12. You know, I really do love fresh line dried clothes. I can remember standing out in the hot California sunshine hanging clothes while pregnant and just being so intensely happy. Funny huh? Anyway we live in base housing now and they do not allow you to have clothes lines because apparently they are "unsightly" I think I'll start a campaign.

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  13. But Ma Ingalls just banged the ice off and hung them inside aftwards. ;-)

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  14. Great question... how DID that happen? I would definitely say there are lobbiests involved....

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  15. Our covenants expired because we live in an old neighborhood, but I don't have one. I grew up in Nebraska and it's so windy there you can take the first ones you hung down by the time you get the last ones up (you think I'm kidding). Spent my entire adolescence kicking a laundry basket and an ice cream bucket full of clothespins down a line at least a mile long. Seriously.

    Here, it's too muggy and not windy enough. It takes forever to dry a beach towel over the back of a chair in full sun.

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  16. Thanks for the advice on setting up a drying line. Posting each side a few feet down may keep it steady even through the elements. Good post.

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  17. Thanks for the advice on setting up a drying line. Posting each side a few feet down may keep it steady even through the elements. Good post.

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