February 29, 2012

Wasteless Wednesday: Hangin' Out!

Did you know that millions of Americans have to fight for the "Right to Dry"? Despite the benefits to our climate and the savings, you might be breaking the law if you hang out!

Hanging laundry on a clothesline is a common practice around the world, and was in the U.S. as well for generations. But many Homeowners and Condo Associations concerned about the aesthetics and effect on property values have passed rules taking away the "Right to Dry"~ and many cities and towns have joined in, passing ordinances as well. Thankfully, some states are voiding these actions: Florida, Maine, Colorado, Vermont, Hawaii and Maryland have legislated your "Right to Dry". Many others are also joining the fight~ but one organization followed the footsteps of Susan Taylor, who some call the "poster child" of the North American Movement for the Right to Dry. Ms. Taylor has fought to hang her clothes in her Oregon neighborhood for years, recently, she discovered an old law from 1979 on the books that banned any bans on solar energy systems. Well, sunshine is solar and that's how we dry our clothes, right? She agrees and many others do also, but her fight is still on.

Now Sightline Daily's reporter, Jon Howland has found 13 other such existing laws that mandate solar access. He also claims that bans persist in the 6 states that have established the "Right to Dry"! What can you do? Sightline is mapping known violations of your "Right to Dry" on a google map, helping to track progress in the fight. You can put your community "on the map" by writing to the editor@sightline.org ~ You can also sign the petition "Right to Dry" sponsored by RightToDry.org ~ Write to your local and state legislators also! Another active group in the fight is Project Laundry List. They offer resources to help save energy and money. And, finally, in your own backyard: Exercise your "Right to Dry" by hanging up your laundry! Your neighbors may not like it, but the Earth will. Just one household can output as much as 1500 pounds of CO2 by using a dryer. Dryers contribute to an estimated average of 5% percent of your electric consumption. Imagine the savings if you line-dry! Not to mention, the wear and tear on your clothing~ where does lint come from? It's remnants of your clothing...

So that's our 1st tip for Wasteless Wednesday! Use a clothesline!

2. Sun not shining? Raining? Get a drying rack!

Poetry of Objects

3. If you absolutely insist on using a dryer, keep your lint filter clean and your cycle as short as possible by using proper settings.

4. Another tip for the dryer~ Use wool dryer balls! They save drying time and they're a fantastic eco-friendly alternative to a dryer sheet!

©Tara Fletcher-Gibbs

5. Wash in cold water! It works just as well and saves electric.

6. Use natural, homemade laundry soap and stain removers.  Don't want to make them yourself? Buy them from Etsy, our personal favorite for all things handmade! You can find hundreds of homemade alternatives to commercial detergents and caustic stain removers.

Soap for Your Soul

7. Wear your clothes longer! Instead of washing them after a short wear, set them aside for a second wear! Also air out blankets on the line instead of washing them so often. They last longer and smell fresher!

So that's a week's worth of laundry tips that will help Waste Less! Have a great Wasteless Wednesday~ and we'll see you next week!

1 comment:

  1. I cannot believe that. With all that everyone is doing to global warming. i live in the north of England and don't have a dryer! I dry everything on the line when I can and then I also have them hung round the house when it's raining. Looking good or bad doesn't matter compared to using less energy!