19 Apr 2011

National Hanging Out Day today!

Well it is in the US. Not sure it has taken off here but maybe that is something to think about...apparently every year, on April 19th, a group called the Project Laundry List joins together with hundreds of organizations to educate communities about energy consumption.

Photo: borrowed from Jenny Jones here

National Hanging Out Day was created to demonstrate how it is possible to save money and energy by using a clothesline. It seems to be all too easy to stick in the tumble dryer - and not doubt it is similar over here - made worse with the threat of showers.....but for many there is something therapeutic about hanging it out - and it smells better. Can I even confess that it is fun to colour code your washing on the line.....starting with one colour say blue and merging into the next say greens and then yellows.....??!

Amazingly an estimated 50m households in the US prohibit clotheslines, ostensibly, for aesthetic reasons. National Hanging Out Day is a time when folk can protest at this - in some states, "Right to Dry" legislation has been introduced to override these restrictive community regulations! In the US, an estimated six to ten percent of residential energy use goes toward running clothes dryers!! This means that the average American uses more energy running a clothes dryer than the average African uses in a year for all her energy needs.

The campaign in some parts of the States hands out clothespins along with info re energy saving advice plus in some places hangs washing out in public places to raise awareness. There is even a T-shirt: "Hang Your Pants, Stop the Nuke Plants".

Here are some figures for the UK:

   * We spend £1.1million a day on electricity for tumble drying. That's equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to run 2650 (dryer-free!) homes for a whole year.
   * Dryers use about 60% more electricity than washing machines.
   * The average tumble drying family could save themselves £70 a year if they switched to line drying.
   * The average dryer is responsible for emissions of 310kgs of CO2: avoiding this is roughly equivalent to draught-proofing the average UK house.

No comments: