Saturday, January 17, 2009

Freezing your Clothing, a Choice for Change.

I will admit, I felt a bit silly dragging my son's sheets and blankets out onto the line last week when the temperature outside was 10 degrees, but I just needed to discover if things could really dry in below freezing temperatures. I had been reading on the internet about others who had successfully dried things outdoors in the winter and was intrigued. As I trudged through the snow, I could just picture the woman that lives behind me, peering out her window, and shaking her head. As I wrestled with the quickly freezing bedsheets, even I wondered if I was nuts.

Sometimes it is really hard to strike out and do things a bit differently than those around you, even if you know you are doing the right thing environmentally. What helps is by looking for and discovering other folks who have also chosen a different path. By coming together with these people, both locally and on the internet, one can become empowered to continue making the choices that are right for the planet, no matter how unusual they appear to those following the status quo.

On that sunny wind-whipped day, as I clipped the last clothespin onto a pillowcase, I felt a bit better about my choice to venture outdoors and hang my clothes, if for nothing more than to get back indoors where it was warm. As I returned to my house, leaving behind my frozen stiff laundry, I doubted anything would dry in those bitter temperatures. But six hours later, when I returned to remove the bedclothes, I was surprised to find that most everything had dried. I removed the stuff from the line and discovered the damp things quickly finished drying once they came into the warmth of the house.

Later that night, as I made up my son's bed, the fresh smell of winter on his sheets, I felt really good about the choice I made that day. Little choices added collectively together, become bigger choices. Being the first one to make a different choice in my neighborhood, may encourage someone else to make the same choice at which point change grows exponentially. It has got to start somewhere and why not with me?

For more of my experiences in outdoor line drying, please click here.


Jen said...

It's so cold here that I think the sheets would just freeze and crack. I might try it when we get a little warmer. I've been hanging clothes up inside to dry and have occassionaly used the dryer.

Darcy said...

Hi Jen,

About the only things that will freeze and crack are your fingers after handling wet sheets in below freezing temperatures. I finally got smart and started wearing gloves.