Not only am I a bit anal about water usage (after going to many nations where water is a precious resource and some people only have about a toilet flush worth of water a day to do everything-cook, wash, bathe…) but I am also very aware of energy usage in general. When my garden begins to grow I actually keep a bucket outside of my back door and fill it daily with gray water and water my veggies with it. I almost never used the hose on any of my 9 squash plants this past summer. I watered the rest of the veggies though.
I line dry all summer and absolutely love it. It doesn’t give that Spring fresh smell that commercials make you believe it would. Outdoor drying actually leaves clothes a bit crunchy and smelling like nothing at all. It does take a bit of time to do it but I’m convinced it’s worth it. Our energy bill is much less than it could be but I also like the idea of standing out in the sun and wind, getting fresh air and not having to rely on so many appliances to help my life.
All that to say a few years ago I decide to ‘line dry’ through the winter as well. I was always sad when the cold weather came and ruined my outdoor clothing adventure. So I bought two fold up, according style wood rack-dyers and set them up in my basement. I rarely use my dryer anymore. I think the challenge for me came when we were in my husband’s hometown in Switzerland and our well to do relatives were ‘line drying’ indoors and said that most Swiss people own a dryer but rarely use it. Growing up as an American I was under the impression that only poor people hung clothes up to dry. That’s what we had to do growing up whenever our dryer broke. Who does it out of choice?
I have to say that I absolutely love hanging clothes and the main reason is that it makes me feel powerful and self sufficent, not being reliant on machines to do everything for me. Now, we likely won’t be building an indoor fire to cook all of our food in a big, black cauldron over an open hearth but these small steps really bring a lot of life into our home.
Someone once said that most Americans are getting less and less active as they rely more and more on machines (mainly cars) and you could greatly improve your quality of life by just making life a little harder. Interesting paradox but I get the sentiment behind the statement. Just work a little harden doing things that are now easy for us and you usually appreciate things more, you get a bit more exercise and maybe even breathe easier as you get outdoors more. This is also why we try to cycle 6 months out of the year with the kids in tow to get the sun on our skin and the exhaust fumes out of the air.