It's the little things.

It's the little things.

Simple, inexpensive things you can do to help the planet



ClotheslineAh, the dog days of summer (well, in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway!). What better time to reduce your use of the electric clothes dryer and go au naturel? We don’t mean you should run around nude (though that would certainly reduce the need for doing laundry!). We mean you should consider using sunlight and wind to dry your freshly washed clothes.

Good Magazine (where ITLT’s designer, Su Yin, works) estimates that a year’s worth of hot water laundry plus tumble drying produces 213.3 kg of CO2 per year. The same number of loads washed in cold water and line dried produces only 16 kg!

In the United States, nearly 6% of residential electricity is consumed by clothes dryers. The good news is that in the last 3 years, the number of Americans who consider a clothes dryer a “necessity” dropped by 17%.

Willing to give it a shot? TipThePlanet lists more different types of clotheslines and drying racks than you ever thought possible.

If you can’t avoid using a dryer, consider purchasing one with an automatic shut-off feature. Also, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy recommends drying similar fabrics together, drying multiple loads in quick succession (to take advantage of residual heat), and making sure to clean the dryer filter after each use.

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  1. Carl on August 5, 2009

    I like this idea indeed. Auckland can be very fickle with rain showers anytime of the day anytime of the year, ‘four seasons in one day’ as they say. This can make the clothes line a little frustrating. And often Sods Law will most likely kick in, If you put items on the line it will rain, if you don’t put things on the line it won’t rain. To avoid this i recommend putting large items on the line and leave smaller more time consuming to put out items for the dryer. This will avoid Sods Law and will avoid over investment of time in hanging fifty thousand socks only for them to be rained on.


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