Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One Small Change - April 2011

I've been taking the One Small Change challenge since January.  While, the official One Small Change project is closing down, I'm going to keep posting my changes each month because when you tackle things one change, one month at a time, it makes it seem so much more doable and less overwhelming.  It also reminds me to not get too comfortable with how far I've come and to continue changing for the better of our environment.

For April, we'll be doing lots of green things as the weather warms, we plant our seeds and prepare our garden, and we begin to spend so much more time outside again. But, I want to make a change in addition to continuing all our previous plans. As I've considered the changes I could take on, I keep coming back to the same one. I wish I didn't. To be honest, I keep trying to think of something else, anything else, I could do. During a month where I'm going to be working hard in the garden and getting us back into our outside routine, I wish I could think of an easier change.  But I can't, so here we go.

At the end of last summer we bought an outdoor clothes dryer in the hopes of reducing the energy used for us to do laundry.  We used it a few times but never fully got into a routine before the weather turned cold. I wanted to love it. I wanted it to be second nature.  But I didn't love it, and it wasn't second nature. So this month, I will commit to drying at least 5 loads of laundry outside on the dryer. It might not seem like much, but this project is about small changes. Because small changes can turn into big things.  Let's start with 5 loads of laundry and see where it goes.

And with a view like this, hanging some laundry out to dry can't possibly be that bad.

4 comments:

  1. This is a great small changes project. We have two clotheslines that I used every chance there's no rain. I love hanging everything to dry in the wind and use the sun for stain removal.

    I've been eyeing those clothes dryers for even more space without taking up more of the yard now that I have to watch the kids so they don't dirty up the hanging laundry. How do you like this model?

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  2. You know, I'm not sure. Again, I'm sure some of it is that I haven't gotten to used to it. And some of it is that the model we bought is really inexpensive so I am nervous about it bending or falling. It goes in a sleeve in the ground and gets brought in when we're done (another step in the process). But I like that I can put clothes up and "spin it" while standing in spot to load the next side, but you also have to be aware of keeping it balanced. we have incredibly rocky soil so my husband didn't want to dig multiple holes, and we couldn't figure out a place to put a traditional clothesline that wouldn't destroy the amazing view or block the sun from our garden.

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  3. i love my clothesline and hang most everything to dry in the summer when it takes about 10 minutes because it is so hot here. BUT i have to admit that when the kids were younger - and therefore smaller people with smaller clothes - i wouldn't hang their clothes to dry because there were SO many items in a load of their clothes and it would take me FOREVER to hang it all. i hung our adult clothes and threw theirs in the dryer. and i hung diapers, sheets, towels. just not their clothes because it was overwhelming to hang all those itty bitty socks and shirts.
    good luck!

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  4. Start with large items: when you do a load with sheets or bedspreads hang them outside and put the other stuff in the dryer. Then add adult teeshirts and over a few weeks incorporate more and more small items. For socks, underwear and kids pants I love these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80189663 I wish they were not plastic but I love them anyway. They are easy to repair when the pins break.

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