Friday, July 9, 2010

Clothesline Advocacy

Everybody is going green nowadays.  It's chic, practical, and the responsible thing to do.  But let's face it, it's a bit of a fad, isn't it?  Just note the number of cutesy reusable bags available for purchase.  I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but for all the hipness of the green movement, there's a long way to go.  It's pretty cool to carry a reusable bag, but does your greenness stop there?  If you are going green what are you doing to advocate ALL the green options available?

As a cloth diapering mom, unless I change a diaper in public, people don't know I'm cloth diapering.  I'm sure my neighbors don't know or many of my family or friends.  It's just not the kind of thing that comes up all that often and finding organic ways to bring it up can be hard.

One of the reasons reusable bags have taken off is visibility.  People see others using them.  It works in three ways: 1) it's cool  2) public shaming - sort of like the whole Scarlet Letter thing  3) people become aware it's an option

So here's a great way to gain cloth diaper visibility - put up a clothesline.  Is there anything cuter than a bunch of cleans dipes swaying in the wind on a sunny afternoon?  This is a great way to say "ask me about cloth diapering!"  Don't cloth diaper anymore?  Well, I'm sure you wash clothes and hang drying doesn't just advocate for cloth diapering, it also promotes greener living.  How much energy are you saving by not running your dryer?  Drying in your machine can account for 10 percent of your energy use each year.  Sun light is environmentally-friendly, free, and readily available (sorry to those of you living in Forks).

But won't it be an eyesore?  You ask.  From the number of people I know who's Homeowner's Association has banned clothesline, I guess this is a common complaint.  Personally, I take real issue with anyone telling someone else how to use their land.  As far as an eyesore, sure if you put clothes and leave them for days on end, it might be.  A couple hours of clothes flapping in the sun isn't hard on anyone's eyes.  Personally, I think disposable diapers in a landfill, cigarettes littering sidewalks, and smog are much more of an eyesore, don't you?

So, come on, Connected Moms, imagine if we got everyone out there using reusable bags to hang dry their clothes - what a remarkable environmental impact!


Crystal said... [Reply to comment]

I generaly have a problem of my clothes being stiff when I hang dry. And my children have sensitive skin; so fabric softener is out. Do you have a solution for this?
Also, do you think taking the babies out in their cloth diapers and a shirt looks as inappropriate as it does when they are in disposables? I mean the cloth diapers and covers come in such pretty colors and patterns . . .

Jenn said... [Reply to comment]

I don't think its inappropriate to take them out in cloth diapers. Connected Daughter has an obscene amount of outfits, so I generally don't. We're home all day, though, so she gets dressed up to go out.

In terms of laundry, I would try wool dryer balls, like Buddha Bunz. They really, really work for softening and reducing static. I also hang dry and then put them in the dryer for 15-20 minutes w/dryer balls to soften up - a major reduction in dryer use and your clothes are still soft.

Crystal said... [Reply to comment]

That is very helpful! I have tennis balls that I use now. We did buy HE washer and dryer. But it is still energy being used.

Tacey said... [Reply to comment]

Poking my nose in, but some white vinegar in the softener drawer helps a lot with stiff clothes. Best not to use it too often if you have nappies or clothes with elastic in them as I think it can eventually perish it.

We always line dry (no dryer) and have a load of racks around the house for when it is wet outside.

Laura said... [Reply to comment]

My cloth diapers are blowing in the sunny wind at this very moment :)

Jess said... [Reply to comment]

I've been line drying since spring and loving it! I personally think a line of cloth diapers drying in the sun is *adorable*, and regular clothes look pretty cute to me too. I agree with you on HOA's telling people what to do with their land - it's ridiculous. And I also agree about "going green" and how it's become so trendy. But then I think, hey, the housing projects don't have clothes lines up because they are trendy, they have them up because poor people live there, and clothes lines save money. That's what keeps me drying my clothes outside!

Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife said... [Reply to comment]

I agree that "going green" is trendy right now, but I really hope that it's a continuing trend vs. just a short lived fad. I feel that as people become more educated about easy ways to improve our lives it will lead to lasting changes across the board. At least that's my hope! I know for me, one "green" change has led to another. I guess recycling was my gateway change = )

Also, I really enjoy line drying. I've wanted to put in a clothesline for several years, but I knew it would be harder to utilize when I worked outside the home. Now that I'm a SAHM I have the opportunity to line dry. My husband put in a clothesline for me on Mother's day and I've been happily using it since! I especially love line drying cloth dipes because they look so pretty hanging there, swaying in the sun. I would argue that as opposed to it being an "eyesore" it really brightens up the backyard!

Cindy said... [Reply to comment]

I was "green" all my life. My mother loved to hang her clothes out to dry and I've been doing it for 35 years. Nothing like the smell and feel of sheets hung out to dry. Besides my clothes line, I, too have racks for rainy days. My daughters bring there clothes (and CDs) over here to dry as well. Hmmm, they do need to get their own!

I guess I'm not green....I'm cheap! Its a great way to save a significant amount of money and exercise at the same time! (Electricity, dryer balls/dryer sheets, and replacing clothes dryers.)

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