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Drip Dry

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Sun-kissed laundry is seasonally-challenged luxury. I love the smell of bed linens fresh from the line, and I enjoy the ritual of hanging laundry out to dry. The sight of sheets billowing gently in the breeze feels as summery as iced tea, open windows and bare feet.

I'll admit that I miss that summery feeling even more when I open the utility bills in the winter. Dryers are second only to refrigerators in energy consumption (line drying can save you up to 5% on your power bills). But in many locations line drying past the warmest days of autumn would result in laundry that was either frozen stiff or soaking wet.

On the wonderful blog Charles and Hudson they discussed the topic of outdoor clotheslines vs. neighborhood associations. Granted nobody wants to live next to an eyesore. But seriously, a few tiny concessions might make a world of difference... to the world. After all, once you've seen a suburban strip mall a little drip/dry action seems picturesque by comparison.

In grand old homes the basement laundry area often featured clothes lines meant for drying items in inclement weather. Most modern homes have abandoned such a luxurious use of space for game rooms and in-home offices. But a little searching came up with a few options. This super-glamorous method (for which I have neither the vertical or horizontal space) is going to have to wait until I have a proper sun porch. Meanwhile I can nip over to Linens and Things to purchase this space-efficient and inexpensive model that folds for easy storage ($9.99).

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optimist on Nov 09, 2007:

I am amazed and rather horrified at the notion that line drying washing is undesirable. Even in Ireland where drying clothes outside is year round, a race against the elements, many people do not have dryers, and even when they do it is only as back up to outside drying. I do not have a dryer, they are very heavy users of electricity.

I find the notion that outside drying is undesirable from an aesthetic aspect is sad and twee. How synthetic is your life if you can't cope with a line of washing blowing in the breeze? How can whole neighbourhoods be dictated to by home associations on what they can do in their own backyard. I could understand objections to scrap cars or endlessly barking dogs, but noxious laundry? Wake up and contribute to the Power of One campaign. If every one person does one thing to save power, we may yet save the planet.


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