Cool Green Throwback: Clotheslines

(Welcome again to Stephanie, one of the finalists in our Editor search for the upcoming Apartment Therapy Green blog. She's writing from Berkeley, California. Comment away!)

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This spring, as soon as the sun broke through, my neighbors hung a clothesline off the back of their balcony. It seems they have been drying all of their clothes there ever since. There's just something about a load of laundry, clothespinned to a line, drying in the sun. Even a row of old boxer shorts looks sort of pastoral hung up like that. Easily charmed, I followed their lead.

Of course, there are more compelling reasons to dry your clothes in the sun: When the weather permits, it's the earth-friendly way to go.

- It's totally off the grid. Depending on how old your clothes dryer (or the laundromat's) is, not using it can add up to huge energy savings.

- It lengthens the life of your clothes. Dryers, because of the heat and friction, wear down elastics and fabrics much more quickly than the sun ever will.

- It's free (not counting a few bucks you'll spend on a clothesline and clothespins), so you can save your quarters for those CFL bulbs you've been contemplating.

Some handy instructions on how to install your own clothesline here.

And, for those of us who don't have a good place to string a clothesline, there are always drying racks; although not nearly as romantic, they're just about as effective.

Any other cool non-clothes-dryer drying methods out there? Or line drying tips?

-Stephanie

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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