The following is from the Real Green section of Green America, a premier consumer’s group that offers guidance to environmentally friendly products, services and investments. They also have an advocacy mission that works to nudge corporations into further upstream green choices and behaviors. They are a site worth visiting and a group worth supporting.
The excerpt below is about American’s increasing assessment of the dryer as a luxury. It is fascinating. Who would have believed even five years ago that a staple of our domestic world, a a symbol of comfort and ease, into which we sail piles of laundry and sweet-smelling softener sheets so that our clothes will feel and smell heavenly fresh would be emerging as a luxury and not a necessity. Who knows what will come next? Electric or gas-powered lawn-mowers? Weedwhackers? Food disposals?
Revolutions have begun on less. Tea, for example.
I, for one, bought drying racks about six weeks ago and have cut down my dryer use by about 80%. Even more, I find hanging the laundry therapeutic. It forces me to slow down, to pay attention to the indoor and outdoor weather so I can know just where best to put the racks and judge how long it may take the clothes to dry. Humidity, sunshine, time of day, type of clothing are all part of the formula. Hanging laundry forces one, enables one, to connect to the physical world in a way that honors the specificity of that part of the world. The dryer, signifier of the technological achievements and heavy-handedness of human progress, allows us to treat most of clothes the same. With a rack, the experience of laundry becomes more about the particular clothes and less about us; more about the dynamics and demands of the physical world - of cottons and silks, polyester or nylon, linens or blends - and the dependence we still have on it, and less about our forceful hegemony over it.
Quite a spiritual message for simply handling fabric!
Fire Your Clothes Dryer
Make this the year you reduce your energy use (and your utility bill) by air-drying your clothes as often as possible.
The news is in: Many of America’s clothes dryers may soon be getting a pink slip. One in every three Americans sees the clothes dryer as an unnecessary extravagance.Fire Your Clothes Dryer…
Every few years, the Pew Research Center asks about 1,000 Americans what they think about various appliances. Three years ago, 83 percent of respondents said a clothes dryer was a “necessity.”
Since then, something striking has happened—the people that Pew surveys have begun to think differently about energy- intensive appliances: the percentage of respondents who describe a clothes dryer as a “luxury” has more than doubled in just three years to 33 percent.
About a third of Americans have figured out that it takes a huge commitment of energy to run a dryer—all to do something that our great-grandparents knew that the air, given a little more time, could do for free. In many other countries, this wisdom is more widely shared, and drying clothes on a line or a rack is the norm. Whereas 75 percent of households in the US own a clothes dryer, for example, only about half of households in Europe own one, according to the Netherlands Statistical Office.
If you haven’t already, join the trend and make this the summer that you reduce your clothes dryer use and return to old-fashioned, free techniques for drying laundry. You can air-dry clothes no matter where you live, and this green step will cut your energy bill, reduce your carbon footprint, and preserve your favorite clothing longer.