Thursday, 15 October 2009

Blog action day - hang your washing out!

It's Blog Action Day for climate change and we're getting behind it at Make it and Mend it. Check out the main website for our piece on Climate Change and your Kitchen.

We've also been lending a bit of support to our US friends at Project Laundry List, who are campaigning to encourage Americans to hang their clothes on the lines instead of always using the dryer.

Our highlighting of their efforts has piqued a lot of interest from our UK readers and Facebook fans, many of whom have expressed amazement about the fact that 50 million US homes are actually banned from using dryers and line-drying is seen as a potential dampener on property values (yes - didn't you know - all those sub-prime mortgages and greedy bankers had nothing to do with it - it was the few brave citizens who dared to hang their sheets outside!).

To stop all us Brits from feeling too smug, I thought we'd share a few facts about tumble-drying over here in these fair isles. It may not be banned by law and the practice of hanging your smalls out is not generally viewed as scandalous, but an awful lot of us are still very attached to our dryers.
  • We spend £1.1million a day on electricity for tumble drying. That's equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to run 2650 (dryer-free!) homes for a whole year.
  • Dryers use about 60% more electricity than washing machines.
  • The average tumble drying family could save themselves £70 a year if they switched to line drying.
  • The average dryer is responsible for emissions of 310kgs of CO2: avoiding this is roughly equivalent to draught-proofing the average UK house.
If you're feeling coy about hanging your undies on the line, then hang these on a rack or airer indoors and save the washing line for sheets, towels and pillow cases.

And don't use the lousy British weather as an excuse. We got by perfectly well before dryers were around! You can always dry indoors on bad days, or don't do a wash if you know it's going to rain - or you can even buy covered washing lines to protect the clothes from the elements.

Even if you can't give the dryer up completely, please do give line drying a try on a dry day (it doesn't have to be sunny!). You'll love the smell of air dried clothes - there's nothing like it.

I've never owned a dryer myself - apart from a brief flirtation with a combi washer-dryer that was so useless I never bothered to use the dryer function. I do have a confession to make though! 25 years ago I worked on the UK launch of dryer fabric conditioning sheets. I spent my days beavering away trying to come up with ways to swell the tiny numbers of dryer owners here in Britain. It sometimes seemed an impossible task - if only it had proved to be!

Clare F

>> Read our original post in support of Project Laundry List
>> Check out the debate on our Facebook Page
>> Project Laundry List

Versaline Washing Line
Eco friendly washing lines for inside and out. save money and help reduce CO2

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