April 25, 2009–Today’s Way: The weather here in Michigan has turned unseasonably balmy this weekend, with a warm Chinook wind blowing in from the South.  Not only has it inspired the songbirds, coaxed the tight little lilac buds into unfurling and awakened the frogs and toads in our creek and gardens, but it’s also ushered in the hanging of our clothes line.  Through the frozen winter, we are forced to use our electric clothes dryer (for a great heat and humidity saving tip, see my post from April 7) for most of our laundry, but as soon as the rising springtime sun starts beaming its warmth down upon us, we switch to the clothes line full time.  It makes so much good sense, and saves us a great deal of electricity, not to mention reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere.  A clothes line costs absolutely nothing to operate once it’s installed, and it takes only a little more time than an indoor dryer.  Besides, hanging out our linens usually gets me outside to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, and there’s absolutely no perfumed laundry product made that smells sweeter than that of clothes hung out on a line.

Whether you have a big yard like ours or just an apartment balcony, there are options for just about every living situation.  You can find compact indoor line dryers which collapse away if you’ve got a tight space, clever rotary-style dyers that turn while you stay stationary, and handy retractable lines so you don’t have to install a permanent pair of poles in your lawn.  We simply installed a single line in the span between our house and garage using heavy-duty eyelet screws and a nautical knot for easy removal.  Whatever your living space, there’s a solution for you, and you’ll be enjoying the energy savings as well as that just-off-the-line fresh laundry smell.

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