Sunday, June 29, 2008

Putting it all on the line

So you make your own laundry soap? You rock! Here's another way to make the household chore of laundry cost less and leave a smaller footprint (hello buzzword =). Hang it out to dry! Did you know that electric dryers are in the top five energy hogs in your home? Of course it depends on the age, brand and model, but in general it's true!


Here's a link (How much electricity does my stuff use?) where you can calculate approximately how much energy you are using with certain appliances and then you can calculate the cost. This is a great tool! You can pick an appliance, device or even a kind of light bulb, adjust the amount of time you use it in a day, choose the cost of your electricity in kilowatt hours (get out your utility bill and do some math - the cost of your electric bill for the month divided by the KWH that you used) and whalaaa! Your cost per year is calculated for you!

In my situation we wash approximately one load of laundry per day (cloth diapers will do that to you). As a result, we run the dryer about one hour per day. I live in Oregon and the my average cost per KWH runs 7 cents. If I dried my clothes on the clothesline each time, I would save 150 KWH/month, $10.50/month and a whopping $126/year!

Does this offset the cost of my clothesline? Absolutely! My clothesline cost me $42.21 plus a bit of quickcrete and a little labor from my hubby (having a hubby is not necessary to complete this project, it just helps when you have a 1 week old newborn). If I use my clothesline 121 days the first year then I've paid for it with the money that I save not runing my dryer - every time i use it after that it's like money in my pocket!

Now, if you have to use your dryer like I do for part of the year (living in sunny Oregon and all), here are a few tips on cutting down on your energy usage:
  • of course you COULD hang your clothes on an indoor rack - Our dryer is in our garage so I hang my clothes on hangers and then hang them from the garage door tracks
  • when it's time to buy a dryer, buy one with a moisture detection feature so that it will shut off when the clothes are dry - and just FYI, the EPA does not award dryers with the energy star label
  • if possible put your dryer in a warm location in your home that way less energy is used to heat the air to dry your clothes
  • clean the lint filter after each use so that the hot air moves efficiently through the dryer
  • dry two or more loads in a row - take advantage of the heat still in the dryer from the first load.
  • dry full loads when possible - drying small loads wastes energy
I hope you are inspired! Personally even though it takes a little more time hanging my clothes out to dry, I find it rather therapeutic, much like weeding or hand watering my garden.


Jeana said...

Great information. I can't wait to get my clothesline--thanks for the link! Can I borrow your hubby to set it up for us? Just kidding. Also, I LOVE that you used the term "energy hog"!

Anonymous said...

AHH! I'm so happy that I can still find these recipes! Celina, I was having a slight panic about how I'd have to read through all your archieves to find the laundry soap recipe :)

I haven't had the chance to translate names and gather stuff to try to make something similar over here, but I wanted to keep it around so that I can try it when I move to America! How fun you guys started this site! Hi Jeana and Kristal!

Hmmm. This probably isn't a cheap idea...but I think that overall, it has been valuable. I feel like I've learned a lot about being green (and not in a trendy American way, just in a this-is-how-we-live way) since I've been in Europe. I walk SO much more, I buy my produce from farmers, lots of the products we use were produced in Slovenia and there are significantly less preservatives in our groceries, people don't have clothes dryers....etc etc etc. I think it's pretty cool to have this stuff as normal. And to tell the truth, I'm not looking forward to re/unlearning some of this stuff when I move away.

Bye girls :)

Micah and Christa Forsythe said...

Celina! It has been a while, but I sure have enjoyed catching up with you via blogs... I love the internet!!! I was wondering if sometime you could do a blog about cloth diapers - which kind you are using - etc. How to care for them -- I am in the process of making the change to cloth diapers and I am loving it. I have found that I love the fuzzi bunz the best - and the great thing is finding site on the internet that sells the "seconds" or the ones that have a slight cosmetic problem so you don't have to pay full price. They are perfect for my active little boy! Any how... would love to catch up... congrats on the birth of your little one... he is a cutie!

C & G said...

Thanks for stopping by Anna - I totally agree - European countries seem to have it figured out better than we do when it comes to transportation (walking and mass transp.), their laundry (I love pictures of laundry hanging off balconies!) and food (way more strict on GMO's - Genetically modified organisms etc!)

Christa!!!! I love the internet too!!!How come I never knew you were reading my blog :)??? When I wrote that last post and mentioned cloth diapers, I thought that I should probably start working on a post about that. I'm still figuring a lot of it out but I'll definitely get going on that! Good to hear from you - I'll be taking some time to catch up on your blog soon!

kristal said...

anna, michah and christa...yippee! so glad to "see" you all on frugally green. i miss you and love hearing how you're doing and how you're caring for creation and creatures.

Kacey said...

I'd love a post about cloth diapers. If we have any more kids, I'm definitely going that route. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I put an extra shower rod inside the tub area so I have two rods to hang clothes on in the winter. This bath tub is seldom used for bathing but is sure good to hang clothes in! :) I put what we can on hangers even lining sox on them to save 'line' great! During the winter the house needs more moisture anyway so this works two ways! :) Jody

Yvette Z> Lansdowne said...

To really save on drying time and energy, throw a clean dry towel into the dryer with your load to be dried. It really speeds things up!