This time of year means gardens galore, so to change it up, here is a non-gardening post-Clotheslines!
I admit it, I really enjoy hanging laundry. Enough that it causes me pause before passing the task onto my kids. Hanging clothes on the line is a calm, repetitive, hypnotic task which cools me down on a hot day. I can ponder, watch birds or just enjoy the process of getting our clothes up in the sun to dry at no carbon cost. We run about 1 load of clothes per day, and from April to October, we use our line as the primary clothes drier. I feel a bit for allergic households who cannot use a clothesline because their clothes bring in allergens. Automatic clothes driers are a typical household's second biggest energy using appliance (behind refrigerators). Air drying is free in both dollars and on carbon footprints.
In SE Como Minneapolis, the neighborhood association SECIA, raised awareness of energy consumption of driers by distributing free clotheslines to residents in 2007. It was a very popular program sponsored by the City of Minneapolis climate Change micro grants and really could be repeated every year with the high resident turnover due to proximity to the U of MN. The neighborhood association distributed mini retractable clotheslines to 78 residents.
Numbers cited for energy conservation due to clothesline use include a 3.3% reduction of CO2 if everyone used a line for half a year, and 5.8% of a household's energy demands can be due to an electric clothes drier.