International Clothesline Week: Line Dry, Not Time Dry

Today, many neighborhood and condominium associations ban the use of clotheslines to dry one’s clothes, according to Seventh Generation, a blog about living green. In their effort to maintain uniformity among the neighborhood, these associations may not realize the effects their rules may have on residents or the environment.

According to Project Laundry List, people can save more than $25 per month if they choose to line dry instead of using a dryer. In addition, clothes tend to last longer when hung out to dry rather than placed in a dryer—a factoid that could save some of the approximately 23.8 billion pounds of clothing from ending up in U.S. landfills each year.

Despite the benefits of line drying, most Americans still use a dryer. Ninety-two percent of single family homes owned a dryer in 2005, and 80% dried two to nine loads each week. By contrast, far fewer European households use a dryer. In fact, only about 4% of Italian households own a dryer, according to Project Laundry List.

June 5 marks the beginning of International Clothesline Week, seven days that aim to inspire more use of clotheslines and clothespins and less use of dryers.

This week, try stringing up a clothesline in your backyard. Don’t have a backyard? String up a line indoors or use an indoor clothes drying rack.

Your energy bill, wallet, and the environment will thank you.


Seventh Generation Blog

Project Laundry List

Sustainability Resources at Whole Systems Healing

Green Clothing Care Calculator