clothes on line

066: Line dry your laundry

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL or SAVES MONEY

From our guest author Lakshika in the USA

Take action: line dry your laundry

I was born and raised in Sri Lanka – a tropical country with a year-round warm weather – we had sunshine throughout the year and a clothes line is very common in the backyard of every house.

But it’s not the same for every country in the world. After moving to USA, a country blessed with four seasons, and indeed to a city having around 7 months with an average temperature below 20 °C, things are very different.

Line drying
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Utilizing the power of sun as much as we can is a great way to move ahead in our eco-friendly lifestyle. Line drying your clothes whenever possible instead of using a clothes dryer is an easy way to access “solar power”!

An electric clothes dryer has become a standard feature in nearly 85% of American homes. A typical electric dryer uses about 800 kWh per year. On average, Americans dry five loads of laundry a week, spending about $100 a year to power a typical electric dryer. In total, dryers now represent a $9 billion annual national energy bill!

That’s quite a lot, isn’t it?

(Yes, and it’s definitely a similar situation in Europe, especially Northern Europe … Ed)

Line drying or using an electric dryer each has their own reasons and benefits. If you live in a city, you may not have enough space to hang your wet clothes, maybe it is too dusty or the air quality is poor outside, or it may be the pollen season and some people are very sensitive to this. And yes, line drying is a little more effort than using a dryer. But there are environmental and economic benefits from line drying.

Line drying clothes depends on three main factors – temperature, humidity, and air flow. A warm, dry and a sunny day with a moderate breeze is the perfect condition for drying.

Benefits of line drying

  • Reduces power consumption, carbon emissions and electricity bills
  • Clothes will last longer – tumble dryers can shrink your clothes and high heat causes linens to shed some of their fibres. Line drying them instead means they’ll last longer
  • The ultraviolet (UV) rays from sun can kill bacteria and dust mites
  • Reduces or removes odours and makes clothes smell fresher than tumble drying
  • Save money on fabric softeners, dryer sheets and balls.
  • Line drying is zero waste!!!
  • In winter, for houses that use forced air heating, line drying clothes indoors will increase humidity.
power station polluting

Why it is important?

Apart from all the benefits above, it’s very important that we save energy by reducing the usage of appliances as much as we can.

Line drying clothes saves energy; the less you run the dryer, the less energy it uses and so your carbon footprint is smaller. Reducing our household carbon footprints is essential if we are to stand any chance of limiting the effects of global warming.

Don’t worry if you can’t line dry everything! We must just do the best we can … a small change by lots of people can make a big difference!!!

This article has been contributed by
Lakshika Nishadhi
Insta: @waste.reduction
Twitter: @lakshikansh

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