In the summer months, I am all about my clothesline. For years, I used an "old-school" model: two poles with a line strung between, and enjoyed the smell of fresh, line-dried laundry all summer long. This year, I doubled my fun by adding a hip, new umbrella clothesline that holds twice as much laundry as my clothesline and folds up like a patio umbrella for easy out-of-the-way storage when it's not in use. I love to line-dry my laundry — in the summer months.

But as the days shorten, the temperatures dip, and the kids go back to school, I find myself eyeing my electric dryer longingly. Suddenly, those extra 15 minutes that it takes to hang up my clothes outside seem like an eternity. Suddenly, I can't find as many warm, pretty days to ensure that if I hang up my clothes in the morning, they will actually be dry in the evening. That electric dryer is so quick and easy...

I'll admit it, I'm a line-drying failure in the fall, and winter is out of the question. The main problem is that I have a small house (that's good for the environment, right?) so I don't have an extra laundry room or basement to hang clothes indoors in the chillier months. But this year, I'm inspired to make it work. My inspiration comes in the form of one Crunchy Chicken.

Crunchy Chicken, a.k.a. Deanna Duke, has created a "Hang 'Em Dry" challenge for the month of October, asking readers to pledge to line-dry clothes for the entire month. According to Deanna, if just 100 households didn't use their dryers for a month, it would save 11,100 pounds of CO2 emissions. That's 5.5 tons of carbon.

Reducing your carbon footprint is just one of the many benefits of line drying. From the Crunchy Chicken blog:

  • You save $150 or more per year in energy costs or coins
  • You reduce your carbon emissions by about 1,000 pounds or more
  • You create less wear and tear on your clothes
  • Air drying eliminates static cling
  • If you dry outside, the UV light from the sun can help disinfect clothing
That's worth taking the extra time outdoors or moving around my furniture a bit on laundry day so that I can hang this family's clothes indoors. I just signed up for the Hang 'Em Dry challenge. Care to join me?

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