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Solar Powered Clothes

clothesline (2)

About the time we switched to making our own home made laundry powder, we also decided to unplug our machine clothes dryer – for good!  A few well placed ropes alone with a folding wooden clothes rack is all we need to harness some solar power for our clothes drying needs.

Growing up in Belleville NJ, I seem to remember everyone had a clothes line in their backyard and another line set up in the basement for snowy days.  Didn’t matter if you lived on the second floor of a duplex, Italian mammas were hanging their heads out third story windows with clothes pins clasped in their teeth and braziers in their hands.  From Grandpa’s boxers to baby’s bonnet everything was on display and nobody paid mind to anyone else’s dirty laundry.

When my daughter spent a semester in Italy last year, she was thrilled to see that everyone hung their clothes in the breeze – even in the freezing cold!  Not so today for us in the U.S.  Many cities and most neighborhood associations have bans on hanging clothes out to dry.  Somehow the conventional cellular memory of the old-fashion clothes line carries with it the notion of socio-economic differences.  Or put another way … folks think you are either poor, a hippy or by any other means a trouble-maker and you are certainly bringing down the housing market for the entire cul d’sac if someone can see your skivvies in the backyard.

But you don’t have to wait for local ordinances to catch up with earth friendly practices, there are scores of indoor portable clothes racks that you can purchase, build or jury-rig so that you can embrace this energy saving angle.  Sure, the kids will have to plan their fashion statement in advance – blue jeans take several hours to dry on a line and remembering you just have to wear your skinny leg Levis on Tuesday means you had better get your dungarees in gear before Letterman Monday night.

It’s not every day, that I can put the clothes up on the line myself – but with a family of helping hands our clothes line is always in high demand.


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