The Reason Your Clothes Dryer May Actually be Drying out Our World’s Hope for Sustainability

The Reason Your Clothes Dryer May Actually be Drying out Our World’s Hope for Sustainability
  • Opening Intro -

    Do I miss the warmth, softness, and pleasant scent of my clothes? I certainly do not.

    In fact, these are not things you must forego when you decide to choose line over machine.

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I will be the first to admit, growing up there was nothing I found more comforting than pulling warm clothes from the dryer and holding them to my face to breathe in the freshness. “This is comfort,” I thought to my self, “This is something I will never be able to live without.”

Well, let me tell you I was quite wrong, and in fact I now no longer own a clothes dryer, and as it turns out around the world that is not so uncommon.

Do I miss the warmth, softness, and pleasant scent of my clothes? I certainly do not. In fact, these are not things you must forego when you decide to choose line over machine.

Some time ago I decided to take a leave from the US, a decision that lead to many eye opening realizations about the way us Americans lead our daily lives. One of the things I first noticed was the method that seems to span throughout Europe and much of the rest of the world for drying clothes.

Absent were the massive and shiny machines with the precarious buzz to alert the user of it’s completed cycle and standing, or rather hanging, before me were clothing lines. These lines spanned from apartment porches, ran through terraces and yards, and surprisingly even hung inside of homes next to breezy windows.

While as most Americans spending there first time abroad do, I first thought to myself, “How rudimentary. How inconvenient!” I quickly learned and experienced though a few key reasons why our clothes dryers are holding us back as a society.

How to make – build a clothesline by Jon Peters:

Energy Efficiency

We are well into the age of green awareness, and we cannot and should not ignore the question of environmental impact when we are making purchasing decisions or lifestyle choices. The cost that a large and frequently used machine like a clothes dryer entails can be enormously harmful on our earth.

I could write a number of facts that you may question the reliability of, but what effect would that have. Let me do one better. Follow this link

http://energy.gov/energysaver/estimating-appliance-and-home-electronic-energy-use

and find out exactly how much your current habits are costing both your wallet and the beauty around you. (Fun fact – this works for more than just your clothes dryer).

Longevity of Clothes

One of the more surprising things I found was the quality of my clothes after months of being dried on a line versus in the machine. I was traveling lightly and therefore reusing the same clothing quite often. I expected that my clothes would wear quickly, after all I was used to the color fading and size shrinking taken as normal when using a dryer.

What I found however was that the color quality of my clothes remained intact, and the size never changed. My clothes did not shrink and in fact looked newer for longer.

While I was saving money not paying for unnecessary electrical expenses I was also saving money not having to replace a wardrobe of worn out clothing items.

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Okay, okay, I have convinced you to at least think twice about that large money eating machine in your pantry or mud room, but how and where will a clothes line work?

I would recommend both an outdoor and indoor line for weather dependent days. For an outside line you may think that sun is the necessity, yet you are not entirely correct. What dries clothes effectively is a combination of sun and a nice breeze.

Find a spot with that combination and your clothes will be finished in the same amount of time your dryer will have run, yet for less of a cost. For an indoor option I have found the best luck hanging a line next to a window that, while it does not get direct sunlight, does allow a gentle breeze.

My indoor line is hung from wall to wall with multiple rows to accommodate an entire load, but if that is not your fancy you can easily purchase or build a drying stand that can be stored in a closet when not in use.

Now here is your homework.

First, get motivated by going to

http://energy.gov/energysaver/estimating-appliance-and-home-electronic-energy-use

and determining how costly your clothes dryer is.

The second step is to scout out the location for your future indoor and outdoor lines, then head to your local department store and select the necessary materials.

Three, try your next load of laundry on the line.

And finally, when your clothes are fresh, soft, dry, and not shrunken or color faded, share this with all of your friends and neighbors so that we can all join the help in advocating for the health of our world.

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