We’re Not Environmentally Sensitive; We’re Cheap

Just Breezin', by the Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson

The Norwegian Artist and I have never worried about steering our little raft through the middle of the stream, which is good, since according to our four progeny we are hopelessly on the edge. The other day, however, we discovered that, without our changing any of our odd habits, we have become cool, contemporary, and whatever other words describe the opposite of what we actually are.

We did this by not owning a clothes dryer.

Our College Girl brought this new status to our attention by reporting that, according to one of her professors, hanging clothes on the line is an environmentally avante garde thing to do, and that even celebrities — or the housekeepers of celebrities — are joining in this ecologically friendly activity.

I have a difficult time imagining  Botox Babe rubbing a sun-dried towel across her face (“folding” towels becomes a literal activity when pima cotton dangles in the open air), but if the professor said it, it must be so.

(Incidentally, isn’t our daughter an English major? What type of literature is this professor having her read?)

“Can you believe it?” the College Girl exclaimed. “You’re actually fashionable.”

This is most gratifying.

The Fruit Vendor, by the Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson

Although I would like to say that the reason we subjected our long suffering children to crispy underclothing and socks that lean straight against the wall when you prop them there is because we, long before even Al Gore, were sensitive to the abuses on the environment — this would be somewhat untrue.

Actually, it would be completely untrue, as the reason we have never owned a dryer is that we are too cheap to do so.

It started when we were college students ourselves, holding down a half-time job between the two of us, when we stood by the electric meter and tracked how it spun when we turned on the light in the bathroom and the one in the bedroom.  Quickly determining that one of these had to go if we were going to meet that month’s bill, we were in no shape to turn on a dryer, much less purchase one.

As time went on and enough money flowed in that we were able to add salt to the day’s oatmeal, we never could make the plunge to the dryer. Or an air conditioner. Or a dishwasher. They made the meter race.

When the kids were younger this was no problem, as they accepted that one hauled the basket out to the line in the summer and creatively dispersed the clothing on a rack in the winter. On sultry days, one plunged one’s head under the faucet outside and shook out the excess, like the dog, sort of. After each meal, someone cleared, someone washed, someone dried, and nobody argued about who was supposed to empty.

As some of the children aged, however, they noticed that other people put their clothes and dishes in little boxes, and that another little box, somewhere, pumped out cold air. Also, everybody else held tiny little boxes to their ears and talked into them. And drove cars without peeling paint (“Just tell your friends that we own a Jaguar,” we advised. “It has spots.” This did not go over well.)

Day by teenaged day we became stranger, weirder, more embarrassingly outlandish and utterly outre. While it is a given, in our adolescent-oriented society, that parents be considered with condescending deprecation, we found ourselves, and our ideas, and our way of life so overwhelmingly distasteful to members of the generation below us that breakfast table conversation literally stopped (Oops — did I mention that we drank goats’ milk? Any idea how that went over?).

The Blue Poncho, by the Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson

And then, one day, things began to change — not us, we still hung out the clothes, washed dishes with rags, squeezed the goats’ udders — but the teenagers began to drop out of the nest, flutter their downy wings, and attempt to fly. And as they scraped their beaks against the rocks, they remembered the story of the spinning electric meter.

A car with peeling paint didn’t seem so horrible anymore when the alternative was a four-mile roundtrip trek to the grocery, where (“My God! Look at the price of milk!”) that week’s paycheck wouldn’t stretch to cover a DVD rental, not if you wanted food with that.

When the College Girl complained about how 6 quarters bought 10 minutes of dryer time, her older sister advised her to pack the damp clothes home and drape them over the chairs to air dry. “Dryers cost a lot of money,” she told her. “Air’s free.”

Well I’ll be.

Whitewater -- Original oil by Steve Henderson of Steve Henderson Fine Art

Advertisements

About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
This entry was posted in Christian, Culture, Encouragement, Family, Growth, Humor, Life, Personal, Random, Relationships, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

109 Responses to We’re Not Environmentally Sensitive; We’re Cheap

  1. andresrcastello says:

    Great post, very funny!

  2. mgot78 says:

    Damn straight, we’re cheap!

  3. I echo your sentiments completely. A twentysomething now, growing up in Russia we hung the clothes out to dry and did all those other “green” things: we made dandelion salad and pickled our cucumbers for the winter time, gathered mushrooms, rode bikes, drank birch tree juice, etc. And of course, not because of our environmental consciousness, but simply because we had to make do – we had to take off the land everything it gave us, and couldn’t afford, literally, to pollute it with car exhaust or dryer heat/electricity.

    Come to think of it, I would venture to say that now 90% of the world, the rural, agrarian cultures, are living more “progressively” than the other 10% of us “first world” countries. Funny how it’s gone full circle: we’re striving to be able to raise chickens in our 20-th floor apartment, while they’re still striving to be able to afford a cell phone or that dryer 🙂

    • It is so hard for us, as humans, to be content, isn’t it?

      Are you really raising chickens in your apartment, or is this a generic example? The image is priceless.

      I remember my one time of trying to serve my children dandelion greens — apparently you’re supposed to harvest the plants prior to flowering? Regardless, it was a disaster. To this day, the two oldest look at one another and say, “Remember the time Mom fed us DANDELIONS?” I will direct them to your site.

  4. Lol…..I’ve been looking out for your next post. Great read…..what goes around comes around, just stand still and the world will catch up.

    • We’ve often said that it’s as if we were on a raft in a middle of the river, and suddenly, because the river changes course, we’re on the banks. At least we’re still on the raft!

  5. cute justification of complacency. only took you a lifetime to teach your kids to be as cheap and complacent as you’ve been. hmm. aspirations-aspirations. and here I always thought to myself- when I have kids I’ll teach them to do better for themselves so as not to have to do without… maybe if I fail at that I’ll get lucky and a cause such as “the environment” (which no one’s going to be able to save by the way) will come along and save me of the responsibility too.

    • “When” you have kids?

      You’re right — you teach them to do better for themselves so that they can learn how to do without — and you do this with the bulwark of society against you. “Everybody Else” has a new car, cell phones, x-boxes, name-brand clothes, packed schedules, freshly minted prom dresses — it goes on and on. Check out the remarks behind your back — by other parents — when your teenager walks two miles home because you won’t be his chauffeur. Worse yet, you never bought him a car.

      You have to strike a balance between micro-managing and not caring at all — and regardless of what you do, someone will be there to announce that you’ve done it wrong. One of the hardest things a parent ever does is stand back and watch their progeny crash and burn — and increasingly parents are not allowing children — even grown ones — to learn from their mistakes. If you don’t turn in the assignment, you fail the class — or you should. If you spend all your lawnmowing money on DVDs, there won’t be enough for that special something you saw and realize that you really want. If you go to the interview in shorts and flip flops, you probably won’t get the job.

  6. Isn’t it nice to bed ahead of the curve.

  7. Wallace Dean says:

    I feel like we get sold on this idea that technology is the way of the future, and that there is no way around it. However, technology seems to only be making society and life more and more corrosive. It’s startling to see what decadence has arisen since civilization has really taken off. Anyway, great post!

    • Being uniquely poised between the Great Generation that still thinks the rotary phone is good enough, by God, and the younger, that embraces all things that tweet and ping, the Norwegian Artist and I carefully consider the pros and cons of new technology before we jump in. It’s amazing how economic considerations often make the final decision!

      People blather on and on about the “simple life,” but truly living it makes one a maverick in today’s hyper-pressed society. Close family, good friends, petting the kitty — these are timeless things.

  8. Carolle says:

    I love it! Being parent of a 21 year old son, I can totally relate.

    • You made it! You did it! Congratulations on seeing the eaglet fly. (Of course, sometimes they don’t fly very far away, but when you change their portion of the nest into your sewing room, this encourages them to flutter off again.)

  9. As a middle aged woman myself, I appreciate the post. Nicely written!

    • Years ago, I balked at the thought of calling myself middle aged, but now I embrace it — it’s not a four-letter word, although in our adolescent-soaked culture, it may as well be. I most certainly do not want to act like a 17-year-old for the bulk of my life, and dressing as one isn’t a good option either. I’m a grown up, I’m solidly in my middle age, I’m grateful for every breath I’m given, and I’m happy here.

      As a middle aged woman, perhaps you will commisserate with me and understand this part: Baby, I’m still hot — in flashes, that is.

      Best to you.

  10. Ha! Luckily the fashionista..or better yet, “recessionista” has recycled back to the days of simple living, turning you instantly “cool”! With eyes being opened wider these day, I suspect you’ll be moving up in the trendy-o-meter even more!!

    Hey, I can hear the neighbors whispering already…”Oooh…John, did you see? They have a goat! We HAVE to get one…I can keep it in my mohair sweater closet..so it feels like home…”

    • Recessionista — I like that.

      The Norwegian Artist and I have plowed and danced through life doing what we think is right, and trying so hard not to worry about what others around us think — junior high and high school are great places to have that hammered into you!

  11. nyonyogoblog says:

    god was a kind.. There is not a condition in which human beings are not enjoined to pay to live in.. 🙂
    and that whitewater art was so nice. really nice art. 🙂
    im sorry if my spelling on grammar was bad. 😀

    • Thank you for the nice words. To be honest, I enjoy spelling and grammar, and think they are an important part of accurate communication, but what’s more important is that we say something kind in the first place, which you did. Thank you.

  12. Pingback: We’re Not Environmentally Sensitive; We’re Cheap (via Middleagedplague’s Blog) | Adventures with Petunia GreenBeans

    • Ah, a fellow goat owner. Aren’t they wonderful animals? They give just enough milk; they have unique personalities; and if worse comes to worse, two humans can pick them up an move them someplace even if they don’t want to go. Can’t say that about a cow.

      Thank you for quoting me in your blog!

  13. soratothamax says:

    Exactly! Great article! Not cheap…conservative is the proper word lol (translated cheap)

  14. The best thing about the eco movement? The skint can now validate their situation. It’s perfect.

  15. Erin says:

    I grew up in a small town, a very eco-friendly town. Most of my friends helped their parents by hanging and taking down the wash, many drank goat’s milk– some from their own goats, some store bought– and many, many of my friends washed dishes by hand, and owned neither a microwave nor a dishwasher. A lot of them had washer/dryer sets, but only used the dryer in winter, or for “emergency” drying which they did not have a full afternoon for. Of those who had dryers, many powered them off of solar panels they kept on their roof.

    It’s not the same as being frugal, exactly, though it is strange where environmentally friendly and cheap overlap.

    I’m definitely in the category of “people who do things because they’re cheap” rather than “green,” in most cases. I have a clotheshorse where small things can hang, I re-use my towels a few times before declaring them dirty enough to be washed (all you’re doing is drying your clean self off, after all.) I skip the dishwasher because it’s loud, it doesn’t clean all that well, and there’s a noticible difference in PG&E between months where we do and don’t use them.

    Just because it’s frugal, doesn’t make it less green. (Or less smart)

    • You’re right — frugality and “green” overlap, often unintentionally. I find it amusing that many people who espouse green live up-scale, highly consuming lifestyles, yet they justify themselves because the new houses they build are ecologically friendly, or the new car they drive is a hybrid, or the fabulously priced new wardrobe they replace each year is made partly from recycled materials.

  16. njaiswal says:

    Love it. A lot of nations together have no idea what a dryer is all about. Yep we will save the world! 🙂

    http://www.njaiswal.wordpress.com

    • Most of the world doesn’t have clothes dryers, and yet, not having one in this country is majorly weird. Odd.

      • natinanorton says:

        That is bizarre, isn’t it? Growing up in America, I never once had to think about using the dryer (except when Dad complained about the electric bill every month). Then, after moving to Europe a few years ago, I was quickly confronted with not only the cost of using a dryer (very expensive if you have one), but the time as well. For example, if I had something specific to wear on a Friday, I’d probably want to wash it on Monday so it’d be dry in time.

        Sometimes I do miss using a dryer, but I’ve grown to appreciate air dry. Technology just makes us lazy I think and takes away the simpler things, like the lovely fresh smell of clothes dried on the line.

        Natina

        http://crosswordcharlie.wordpress.com/

  17. Rohit says:

    I wonder, how many of you would feel alien when you come visiting India.

    You will see people drying their clothes in almost every home. A lot of people still drink cow’s, buffalo’s and goat’s milk. If you talk of being environment friendly, India is far ahead than most of the countries. We recycle newspaper, plastic, glass, metal, rubber and what not.

    Air is free – yes my dad always says that. Thats the only thing which is really free in this world.

    • The thought of milking a buffalo is a daunting one — goats are such a nice size.

      Milking an animal, raising chickens, drying clothes on a line, sewing something that you wear — these are simple things that maintain a person’s sense of independence and confidence in being able to do things. We are losing that in this country. We still have that independent American spirit, but we are losing ground to too much playtime.

  18. ughsome says:

    that is hilarious!! am at THAT place right now- ie where i realise that the parentals were actually so uncool as to be really cool. i can really identify with this post!

  19. Great post. Environmentally and economically inspiring. 😉

    Thanks.

  20. ideophobia says:

    the timeline of cool is clearly circular.

  21. Whoo! Congratulations on making WordPress’s ‘Freshly Pressed’ page! 🙂

    Great post, btw. It’s so true. The way our grandmothers and great-grandmothers used to run their households is not a bad way to go. Clothes on the line, home-canned & home-grown fruits and veggies… TONS cheaper than store-bought stuff.

  22. alex says:

    cute:)

  23. blackwatertown says:

    How bizarre that hanging clothes on the line should be seen as quaint or fashionable, as opposed to normal.
    How disgusting that hanging clothes out to dry is restricted in some housing schemes – apparently it lowers the tone.
    It reminds me of my Mum telling me that our family first acquired a washing machine when she counted fifty nappies drying on the line. Poor woman.

    • My grandmother, mother of 11, would have fallen on her well worn knees in gratitude at the concept of a washing machine — having washed clothes by hand in Colombia, I very much appreciate that modern piece of technology!
      The sad thing about our wonderful standard of living, is that it is so easy to forget what it once was, or what it could be. We take for granted the hot water; the potable water, period; the electric lights; the warmth from central heating — we live better than kings did 500 years ago, and yet it is never enough.

  24. Jane says:

    This is my first time reading your blog, and I loved it! Great post!

  25. Tanya Elaine says:

    I love this! I started hanging the clothes out to dry after house sitting for a (celebrity) friend who has a clothes line in the yard…so ironically, history prof. somehow called that one. My clothes have never felt so crisp or yummy smelling.

  26. hisfool says:

    Great post! Brings back fond memories … my wife is actually looking forward to owning a house with a clothesline!

  27. Abby says:

    That’s a great post! Us Brits nearly always air dry our clothes. It’s probably because we’re cheap too – it’s certainly not because of the convenience or our great weather! Lined-dried stuff always smells so good though…

  28. Zo Zhou says:

    Fantastic post. Good on you for using your common sense rather than letting everyone’s idea of what’s cool or necessary cloud your judgment.

    Here in New Zealand most people still hand their clothes out on a rack. Just about every home has one, so no one really thinks about it much.

  29. And the major plus side of drying your clothes on the line (of course besides the economical one)? There’s nothing better than getting into a bed at night with cleans sheets dried in the sun and wind. No dryer (or god forbid dryer sheet) can replicate that smell…

  30. If you visit Thailand.Hope to see you at Sriracha Tiger Zoo.

  31. Colin L Beadon says:

    The fields change so fast it is not worth commenting, to see the comment held back for moderation, and then the field is changed so you never see what happened to your comment, or if it was ever posted. What a waste of time !
    Besides, Goats probably caused the major deserts, since they rip out grass and eat the roots, and debark trees and kill them.

  32. Colin L Beadon says:

    The only thing nice about goats, is they make the best curry.

    • Yes, they do make a good curry, but the milk is quite good, as well as the cheese you can make with it. The problem is, if you make curry out of the goat, you won’t be drinking anymore milk.

  33. Whale Maiden says:

    Oh you all are just so fabulous! I admire your frugality and how it shaped you into living lighter on the planet. (How ironic!)

    Also, your painting, which forms the backdrop or canvas of your Blog, is wonderful.

  34. I spend a good deal of time talking to people about how to live more sustainably and economically… the media has portrayed all the expensive ways to be “green” as if it is a new fashion statement, it is really just a scam. Because our society has become so fast-paced a lot of people grow up not knowing how to live sustainably, economically, environmentally-friendly, and that the easiest way to do any of those things is to do them all. Many people think they need to buy expensive products to be healthy, expensive products to be environmentally-friendly, it is really the opposite, simplicity is best. Thanks for getting the word out!

  35. Seaedb says:

    Great Post, and very true. Not all of us went without the dryer or the dishwasher in later years though. Maybe the sacrifices we made as college students should be reviewed and adapted by us senior citizens – that way our retirement will go farther. Oh, and don’t forget that some of us walked (heaven forbid), or used mass transit to get around (if we were lucky to have it). I enjoyed your post and will read more.

    • Thank you for the compliment.

      It’s funny how circumstances dictate the choices we make, and we find ourselves gradually making significant changes simply because there isn’t enough money to do what we used to do.

      The Norwegian Artist and I walk three miles everyday around our property (we figured out how many rounds we had to do by running a bicycle wheel while we walked, counting the rotations, and doing the math). As far as we can tell, we are the only ones living out in the country here who actually WALK on our land.

  36. oasis says:

    Good post.Theme is beautiful.I like it.

    • Thank you so much. I hope that you can get your outdoor clothesline someday — not so much for the dryer savings, but for the feelling of nostalgia and connection to your grandmother. I frequently stop by irises and inhale their aroma, because it takes me back 35 years to my childhood where irises abounded in our backyard.

    • Thank you! The background painting is from the Norwegian Artist’s painting, Opalescent Sea. He is amazing, isn’t he?

  37. Kathy Larson says:

    First time visitor — loved this post! Very funny. I admire your ‘non-commitment’ to a ‘cheap’ lifestyle — I think that makes you (and your family) a lot smarter than most people. Myself included. I’ve tried over the years to make frugal lifestyle changes, but when one half of the partnership is a shop-a-gadget-a-holic, it’s pretty much a losing battle. So, I do small things that I hope have some impact. I have wanted an outdoor clothesline for as long as I remember — but it has more to do with memories of helping my grandmother hang out the wash in her lovely big back yard than it does with being either frugal or eco-conscious. Love the paintings. I’ll definitely be a repeat visitor.

  38. Anna says:

    Yes, this is us! My children are also finally “seeing the light”, and we are hip and environmental by default…hahaha, loved your post, recognized every bit…love that the car is a jaguar – with spots. Never thought of that. Thank you for a most amusing read.

    • Thank you. Have you ever read the comic strip, Zits? Incredible — the way it captures both the mid-teen “mind” and the hapless feelings of the parents. At this stage in our lives, you simply must find something to laugh about.

  39. shiffadubai says:

    Haha..nice post i’m definitely adding you to the list of blogs to follow.

  40. Songbird says:

    Exactly! Air is free!..lol! Good post! (And the same reason I do not own a dryer…which at times living in damp England is a challenge!)

  41. elmer says:

    hahaha..love this post!!

  42. My daughter lives in London in a small flat with a combo washer/dryer, which means clothes get neither washed nor dried. There are always wet clothes draped over chairs and couches.

  43. zookyshirts says:

    Very enjoyable post! I had to smile as I read of the cycle where your kids now see your hanging out clothes as environmentally intelligent and cool. So, congrats on sticking to your habits and being smart (and cheap) for all those years! And that Whitewater oil painting is fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

  44. deadpoet88 says:

    Great post you have here! I would be one of those just out of college students who realized how very tough it is to live a life of luxury when you have to worry about spending/saving every penny. So I do feel kind of bad for pestering my parents so much when I was younger.

    Your post was very funny though, especially loved: (“Just tell your friends that we own a Jaguar,” we advised. “It has spots.” This did not go over well.)

    That was hilarious. 😀

    I love your page’s background, it is beautiful.

    • The page’s background is from one of the Norwegian Artist’s paintings, Opalescent Sea. Thank you for the compliment.

      We always told our kids that the best thing they could do was learn from their uber poor days (yep, college can be one of those). It’s not too late to tell your parents that they weren’t so weird or unreasonably after all, and that you are learning from their example. Most of us have learned to bite our tongues and not crow out, “I told you so!” and after the tumult of getting someone through the teenage years, to hear something from our progeny is sweet indeed.

      Enjoy your college journey — the tricks and cost-cutting methods you learn now will be there for the rest of your life, and it gives you a freedom to know that, “I ate oatmeal when I was younger — I can do it again,” if a drastic economic cut becomes necessary. (Many times, in order to pursue a serious dream, you have to seriously budget.)

  45. Summer says:

    amazing post!! now people won’t think you’re weird!!

    • Like I care? Junior high and high school were six hard years of learning that it wasn’t worth conforming myself so that I could fit into an exclusive, snipey group — many of whose members were in the process of losing their collective soul because they had worked so long and so hard to be someone they weren’t, in order to please the nebulous group mentality.

  46. Richard Muske says:

    I LOVE your blog! I want to be a better “cheap” person. And I have you to thank for making it look so cool and trendy.

  47. Mr.Saeed says:

    Fantastic post. Good on you for using your common sense rather than letting everyone’s idea of what’s cool or necessary cloud your judgment.

    Here in Saudi Arabia a big number of people called (Bedwans) still hand their clothes out on a rack. Just about every home has one, so no one really thinks about it much.

    THIS IS MY BLOG

    http://learningstep.wordpress.com/

  48. aproperfool says:

    I completely loved this post!!
    I had to endure my grandparent’s 1988 Chevrolet Celebrity. With peeling paint…which he added racing stripes and a spoiler to (to make it cooler).
    I was so embarrassed when I was sixteen and had to be seen around town in it…but now that I am on my own, I realize the significance of not buying a car that will put you in debt over your head…of appreciating the gas mileage of a small, older vehicle…and of humility.
    Which I learned in spades.

    • And now you can pass that wisdom on.

      It’s amazing how our older children no longer vilify The Tank the way they used to, and one of them admitted that our old car looks better, and runs better, than anything she has driven lately!

  49. Ann098 says:

    I’ve been labeled as “frugal”. It’s very encouraging to know I’m not alone.
    A few years ago, when we moved in the house we bought, I was pleasantly noticed the cloth line in the backyard (by the previous owner). I have been using cloth drying rack for a long time, and I wash towels and sheets on a sunny day (we live in south). When we travel, we place the “do not disturb” tag on the door knob in the hotel we stay, to not let the maid change towels and sheets everyday; if it’s needed, we only ask for a couple clean towels. When we were in France last month, we told the front desk that they don’t need to change sheets daily. Just trying to make small efforts when we can…

  50. Here in the Manila, Philippines, summer nights are unbearable. Though we don’t have enough moneyy to buy and aircon unit (and pay the electricity it will consume), we just had to close our eyes and get one using the credit card. As a trade-off, I pulled off the plug on our electric heater in the shower. It’s just ironic that we want cool sleeps and warm baths.

    “As a rule, humans are fools.
    When it’s hot, we want it cool.
    When it’s cool, we want it hot.
    Always wanting what is not.” (I forgot who originally wrote this.)

    • In the hot, humid tropics, air conditioners address a weather need that lasts for many many months. You have my empathy.

      Where we live, the weather becomes unbearably hot for 1 month or so, with temperatures well over 100 degrees Farenheit (40 degrees Celcius?). We’re fortunate to have a river near enough to jump in!

  51. Gotta love kilowatt hours!

  52. flyonmywings says:

    This is such a fabulous post and its so true. My parents were always a little bit alternative and do things like grow their own fruit and vegetables, dry their clothes outside and have to actually plan washing for days when no rain is predicted. I always was embarrassed when I had to confess to people I wasn’t able to put my clothes into a dryer, as my parents didn’t own one. This sort of thinking is so silly of me, and people like me. Anyways, lovely blog, can’t wait to read your future posts…and the pressure is on… lol

  53. hany says:

    articles are quite interesting to read, who would have thought such an article is worthy to be a reference to all the people, give more benefits to others to share information with us to achieve common progress.
    greetings from us blogingtrick

  54. babytyche08 says:

    Great informative post. This is something we should be aware of and pass on to others to enlighten them as well.

  55. I really like the “Whitewater” painting at the end of the post, thanks for sharing!

  56. Pingback: WidiWidi

  57. flightsrhodes says:

    ahhhhhh very good, bookmarked 🙂 keep it up, JusyKassy. http://www.flightsrhodes.org

  58. Pingback: Be Eco-Friendly: Be a Cheap-o!

  59. Pingback: Be Eco-Friendly: Be a Cheap-o! (Inspired by Middleagedplague) — GreenBeans

  60. Ally says:

    I grew up in western Germany as an American. We didn’t have a dryer, so in the summer our clothes were air-dried (like those of most of our neighbors), and in the winter, dried in the oil-fired furnace room. (which left a little bit of an oil scent on the clothes, besides leaving them very stiff.)
    I was quite excited to have a dryer in the dorm in college, and it might have only been a quarter then. Later, laudromat and apartment driers were not that expensive, as well.
    When I bought my first house and had to pay the power bill, the very long, three-string clothes line built in out back gained its appeal. In the long, hot California summers, 100 F temps will dry clothing near-instantaneously.
    To my surprise, my visiting mother was horrified (HORRIFIED) to see my clothes out on the line. She thought it was so ‘tobacco road’, when I thought she would be proud. In actuality, it was my father who had been the frugal one (of course, he didnt’ do any laundry)

    My house isn’t big enough to air dry my clothes in the winter, but I’m perfectly fine with stiff jeans in the summer!

    • Ally: Isn’t it odd when we find ourselves doing something progressive and right that our parents find odd and strange? I never get used to this.

      I always say that the mild stiffness one experiences with air dried clothes gives meaning the term, “folding” the clothes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s