This past weekend, the weather was really nice, which is something I always enjoy. It coincided with me having to do the laundry (yes, it was my turn, I usually always make my husband do it…). Now, in Denmark, it rains quite a lot, which can make it troublesome to hang laundry outside. But not this weekend! This weekend I hung almost all the loads outside to dry. This made me feel so happy and inspired (say whaat?), that I wanted to write down all the reasons why I love to dry my laundry outside (especially on a clothesline – I love that clothesline).
1. It’s better for the environment
It is way more sustainable to air dry the laundry – whether I dry it inside or outside. As compared to using the dryer, I save a bunch of electricity whenever I air dry my clothes. This means I reduce my carbon footprint, since less CO2 is released as a result of powering the dryer.
2. It’s better for my clothes
Clothes can get pretty damaged by being dried in a dryer. Good evidence of this unfortunate fact is the lint trap in the dryer. That lint comes from somewhere, i.e., the clothes that are being dried.
This means that by air drying my clothes, I prolong the life of my clothes and linens. This is not only practical but also saves money and reduces my environmental footprint, as I don’t have to replace clothes due to dryer-damage (see this post for more on the sustainability and affordability of clothes)!
3. I save money
Dryers are expensive. And dryers may require maintenance from time to time – and unless you’ve got the skills to take care of that yourself (I don’t), maintenance and repairs can end up being expensive too.
And then there’s the cost of electricity every time you need to use the dryer. That expense is reduced by 100% by simply air drying your clothes. Voila!
4. It makes my laundry smell good
Research from the University of Copenhagen recently found that laundry that has been line dried outside smells better. This is because pleasantly scented molecules are produced when the wet clothes get in contact with the sun’s light and heat. Apparently, some of these molecules smell like chocolate, roses, citrus and cardamom. Delicious! This is really nice for those of us that enjoy nicely scented laundry but refuse to buy those strongly scented laundry detergents or other smelly stuff you can add to your washer or drier (and which is definitely both expensive and horrible for the environment).
5. It’s kind of therapeutic
Unfortunately, I don’t line dry my laundry often, as it rains a lot in Denmark and I don’t live in a house where I could build a little ‘roof’ for my laundry.
But I spent some time hanging up the laundry to dry over the weekend. And I really enjoyed it. The feeling of the grass between my toes, the sun shining on my face, the feeling of a small breeze on my skin. Just being outside in the beautiful weather. It made me feel utterly and completely happy and satisfied with life.
I think there was also something about the very simple activity of hanging up clothes that allowed for my thoughts to wander. Having that moment to myself without anything else that needed to be done in that moment was almost therapeutic. I felt present in my body and mind and allowed myself to just be and to think about whatever came to mind. I love moments like that, but I think they can be hard to find sometimes in busy day-to-day life. So here’s to more line drying in the future!
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- Designing the Life I Want Through Sustainable and Frugal Living - September 10, 2020
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