April 24, 2014

Weather

Fair

54°
Feels Like: 51 °
Conditions at Parkersburg, Mid Ohio Valley Regional Airport, WV
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Here Comes the Sun...

It looks like Spring has sprung, and it's time to talk laundry!

This topic kind of crept up on me.

A co-worker who enjoys Facebook has been crowing about how she has picked out a new washer dryer combo from an area store, and can't wait for it to be delivered this weekend.

Half kidding, I suggested that she might try stringing a clothesline in the yard to save some energy.

Her main complaint was things shrinking in the laundry, but as we all know, shrinkage is a function of heat...hot water, hot drier, hot iron, etc.  She says she's already familiar with this, but her old machines are so clunky that they walk and vibrate the whole house when they run a load.

To my mind, that would signal an unbalanced load, but I'll concede the point, as she is there, and I am not...and if she can finance a purchase like that, more power to her.

I come from a family that lived through the great depression, and the values of frugality and re-use and limiting expenses were just normal for us.  As a result, I saw my folks recycle rinse water into cold water washes, and use a water saver tank, especially when we kids were young and there were cloth diapers to wash.

This also leads into a discussion of saving the empty tubes from toilet paper rolls, paper towels and bread twist ties, but we aren't going to go there right now...

Instead, I responded to her post with a concession that some people don't like or won't hang their laundry out to dry in the warm sunshine or any variety of reasons:  security, modesty, privacy, efficiency, and a whole lot more that I'm sure I'm not familiar with.

The line from the song, "My Little Town" by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel comes to mind: "My mom doing the laundry, hanging out shirts in the dirty breeze..."

Clearly, if you live next to a coal plant or other polluting smoke stack, there's another reason why you wouldn't want to hang out your laundry.

But it occurs to me that by some careful use of the clothesline, sunshine and drying days, we could reduce our electric and gas bills by a substantial amount.  I know that over the life of my drier I can save hundreds of cubic meters of natural gas that I would have to pay for.  And the good news is that it only costs me some exercise and vigilance on those storm clouds that are always waiting in the wings.

Since this also leads into my kids teasing me when I misjudge the approaching rain clouds, I think I'll stop here.  I just want to encourage you domestic types to consider how much better line-dried clothes are than gas shrunk driers.

And let the arguments begin...

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