I just finished hanging two loads of clothes on my "solar clothes dryer". I love that term, stolen from The Morris Tribe. While being green is a relatively newly popular idea, no longer just for hippies, it isn't new to me. My mom hung clothes on a line outside when I was a little girl. I'm not certain that I used my first clothesline at our first home when I was a newlywed, but after a year in seminary housing, I was happy to have one at our off-campus apartment in Louisville. In an effort to save every penny I could in order to be home with our first born, I hung clothes outside 3/4 of the year. In the winter, it was just too frigid for me to stand. We put one up everywhere we've lived since.
Some people believe the money savings aren't worth it. I disagree. According to my most recent magazine from my electric co-op, dryer use accounts for about five percent of our power bills. I'm glad I can nip that bit in the bud and save my husband's hard earned money for other things.
There are other benefits to me as well:
- I have guaranteed time outside every sunny day, so I get plenty of vitamin-D and plenty of good feelings associated with time outdoors.
- I get a little more exercise without trying too hard. As much as I love modern conveniences, we are not as toned as women of the past who had to churn their own butter and scrub their clothes by hand. Every little bit of manual labor helps keep us healthy.
- Our clothes smell nice and fresh. Sometimes, it's hard to get that manly smell out of my husband's undershirts with washing alone, but the sunshine seems to clear it right up.
- Our clothes look nice and fresh. There've been many set-in stains I couldn't remove until the clothes hung on the line and the sun naturally removed them.