Friday, May 8, 2009

Returning to My Solar-Powered Clothes Dryer

For about 7 years, I spent part of every day outdoors and never had to load an electric dryer with clothes. I lived among millions of people who probably never considered owning such a power-gobbling machine. Lately I’ve been revisiting a simpler past with my solar-powered clothes dryer.

Not only does it reduce our carbon footprint, this drying mechanism also gets me outside in the fresh air, which is where I thrive. My clothes smell fresher than when they are tumble dried, too.

And the best thing is, I was able to make this energy efficient contraption with a $5 investment in some wooden clothespins and nylon clothesline. What a deal!

Now admittedly, since we are a family of five and every day is not so sunny, I still use my electric dryer. In the colder months, I go off solar power almost entirely.

But now that the sun is warm and bright, I have the perfect excuse, and three little assistants to help dry our clothes with the natural power of the sun and wind. And if my forgetful self happens to leave the clothes on the “dryer” overnight and it rains? Then that load gets an extra rinse cycle with no further energy expended.

These clothes, for instance, were rinsed twice before making their way back inside.

Going out to the line is also the perfect excuse to let cool green grass squish beneath my bare feet.

Outdoor bliss.

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