, Newburyport, MA


August 16, 2013

It will all come out in the wash


Ah, but all that stretching and reaching, or more importantly, “What will my neighbors think?”

Good thoughts. but let us pray for good reasons. Average laundry hanging out of doors will save about a hundred dollars a year per family according to those who have the time and inclination to put numbers on such matters.

Not enough?

Well, how about the collective impact on the environment by cazillions of electrically fed clothes dryers?

Enough with the environment already?

OK. How about the out-of-door exercise, of reaching, and bending in air freshened by evaporation?

But what about winter weather?

Ah. That’s when freshly hung washings give their all. Frost dissipates in the moisture, leaving the clothes and whatnot dry and well scented, and the domestic fuel bill lower than it would otherwise be.

But what to do in really stormy weather?

Wooden racks in the basement serve equally well. There is a loss of out-of-door air refreshment, but in the winter it moistens dry air and reduces fuel costs.

But there isn’t enough basement room for that?

Surrender, then, and use the backup dryer without guilt, knowing you have done your very best to help extend the life of the planet.

Even as I write, our freshly laundered unmentionables toss in the wind from their new lines outside my window, and I am feeling very good about doing what we can to support the revolution.


Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and staff columnist. His e-mail address is

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