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The answer just might be blowing in the wind

I often think about this quote from one of my favorite authors when I hang out laundry: “Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.” - Laura Ingalls Wilder

My neighbor caught me hanging clothes outside a while ago and told me it was such a waste of time. She reminded me that we are living in a modern age of driverless and hybrid vehicles and other marvels of technology.

Didn’t I realize hanging clothes outside was a tad old-fashioned? Maybe. By using a clothesline rather than a dryer, I am saving money, and it adds up to about $130 a year, so it’s not a huge savings … but that’s not why I do it.

One of the reasons is that air-drying clothes can reduce my carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds a year. So, in the past 40-plus years I have reduced my CO2 emissions by over 96,000 pounds.

Because electricity in the United States is by burning fossil fuels causing global warming resulting in pollution to our air, water and land, I am doing what I can to lessen my impact on our planet.

Did you know that most of the world line-dries their laundry? But here in the U.S. dryers are the norm, which means 72 million U.S. households own an electric clothes dryer.

Sadly, many American Homeowners’ Associations have banned the use of outdoor clotheslines entirely. The sight of drying clothes is viewed as an eyesore or a sign of poverty that lowers property values. Some associations have gone so far to say the wash line could be a strangulation problem.

While others have served legal notice on those homeowners who “sneak” hanging out their laundry. Luckily for me, my homeowner’s association does not have this ban in the bylaws. And by the way, I have been hanging laundry on a clothesline for over 40 years and I can proudly say I have never strangled myself while doing so.

When I have used the dryer, I blamed it for shrinking my clothes instead of admitting that it was that extra helping or two which was really to blame. But the dryer does shrink clothing.

I thought it was the heat was responsible, but it is the tumbling action that wears down the material and creates lint. Unfortunately, line-drying my clothes doesn’t shrink my clothing. Wait, should I lie and say I use the dryer when my clothes are a bit snug?

Another reason I hang out the laundry is that line-dried clothes smell so good.

Did you know that dryer sheets are loaded with nasty chemicals in order to get that “fresh outdoor scent”? My clothes get that fresh outdoor scent by being hung in the fresh outdoors.

The average amount of time needed to hang a load of laundry is less than 15 minutes.

Being outside and enjoying the weather while hanging up laundry can offer an outdoor experience that is meditative and helps reduce stress.

Did you know that 15 minutes of hanging laundry and removing it from the line burns 68 calories? That’s saving enough calories to enjoy a snack of 20 olives, two Clementines or three mini Toblerone candies.

So, when I finish hanging out the clothes, I think it will be time for a snack, and since I don’t like olives or Clementines, it is going to be easy to see why my clothes are snug.

A clothesline is a great way to save the environment.