Thursday, October 16, 2008

Food for thought...

If every American used a clothesline to dry their laundry instead of an electric dryer, we would collectively offset the amount of energy produced by NINE large power plants. ~ Source Project Laundry List

8% - 10% of the average American household's electric bill every month goes to running their dryer. ~ Source Project Laundry List

So do your part if you don't already and start line drying whenever possible instead of using the an electric dryer. It will save you money and save us all a lot of energy.

Clothes lines are easy to install and are inexpensive. Even the most elaborate will pay for itself in electric bill savings within a few months. Indoor drying racks can run anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on the size, what kind of wood it's made from, where it was made (look for "Made in the USA"!) and how sturdy it is. Some look like finished furniture and/or can be hung on a wall of a laundry room, providing shelf space as well as drying space. Most fold away for easy storage in a corner, closet or under the bed.

Clothes lines and indoor air drying racks can be bought at Walmart, most hardware stores, and online from places like Gaiam and Lehman's.

Existing fences and dense shrubbery (like boxwoods!) can also be used as auxillery drying space.

Clothes pins available for retail purchase in the United States are exclusively manufactured in China now. The last of those made in the US were sold last year. However, unused, second-hand and vintage clothes pins can be bought on ebay at inexpensive prices. (Seriously, you'd be surprised...)

I'm sad to say that of the 16 houses on our street, only 4 have clothes lines, including ours. However, two of those clothes lines - including ours - were put up in the past year directly due to the work of Project Laundry List. I love my clothes line.

If you live in an apartment or dormatory and you don't have outdoor drying space, but you want it, petition your landlord or campus authorities to allow for outdoor drying space on the basis that it saves both money and energy. If clothes lines are prohibited in your town/neighborhood, see Project Laundry List for tips about how to secure your right to dry.


Anonymous said...

A spin dryer is also an excellent alternative to the tumble dryer for those who wish to reduced their carbon footprint. They are not well-known in the
USA, but spin dryers use about 1/100th of the energy that a tumble dryer does,
and are gentler on the clothes. Line drying is the best of all of course, but in many cases it's not allowed, the weather can be rainy, too damp, etc. You
can read more about spin dryers at

Rachael said...

Thank you very much for the information and the resource! :D