Ah, the simple pleasures of spring. Yes, spring: it's really, truly here. I hung my laundry out twice this week. Oh joy of joys... THIS is what makes life worth living! Okay, so that's dramatic language, I know, but hanging laundry on the line is something that makes me deeply glad. For one thing, it's such a simple act of resistance to our reliance on extractive energy technology. It takes neither coal strip-mined from Appalachia nor oil taken from the Middle East, both at great personal, economic and ecological cost, to dry my laundry on the line. I LOVE things that are free! And while we're talking about saving money, hanging your clothes to dry makes them last longer. (All that lint in your dryer screen? That's your clothes breaking down under the stress of being tumble dried.) For another thing, it's just plain FUN, and it's something that Little C can help out with. We set up the drying rack (which gets used by the wood-stove in the winter) in the sun, and Little C puts all her underpants, socks and other small items on there while I hang the larger stuff on the line overhead. And the aesthetic experience of the colors against the spring blue sky... It just makes me happy, plain and simple.
Apparently I'm not the only one. There is a thriving underground laundry scene, with people subversively hanging laundry illegally in the backyards of their suburban McMansions in gated communities. This short and entertaining NY Times article chronicles the adventures of one suburban mom hanging her laundry out. Check out the non-profit organization Project Laundry List for more detailed information on the environmental benefits of hanging your clothes outside.