As a nation we’ve slowly become addicted to tumble dryers. They’re fast, easy and automated. Completely the opposite of using a washing line, right? Well… maybe not.
There’s no doubt that tumble dryers offer convenience, and even more so washer dryers. The ability to throw the contents of your laundry basket into the drum, switch it on and leave it to do it’s thing is undeniably appealing, but it’s not a great environmental choice as we all know.
Tumble drying consumes electricity, and a lot of it. If you’re using them all year round, they’re likely costing you a fortune too, and is it really necessary? Probably not, but we know, it’s easy!
Dryers use two of the most energy guzzling electrical features known to man, motors and heaters. Together, that puts them up towards the biggest contributors to your home electricity bill, and that’s something everyone pays begrudgingly.
If you don’t believe us, here’s a quick look at how a tumble dryer does what it does, and there’s no denying that it’s a luxury we don’t really need, especially through the summer months.
In reality,while we all think about the laundry routine being a time sap, there’s not a massive difference between taking the wet washing out of the machine and hanging it on the line and taking it out at the end of a drying cycle. The time it takes to sort out the washing from the dryer and fold it up is longer than taking it off the washing line too, particularly if you sort it into a logical order as you hang it out.
It all sounds a bit geeky to think so deeply about how to hang washing out, but if you try it you’ll quickly see what we mean.
There’s also the fact that once washing is dry on a line, it carries on blowing around and airing itself to stay fresh and relatively crease free. Compare that to missing the opportunity to empty the dryer within a couple of minutes of it finishing, and you can find a pile of crumpled clothes. We’ve even witnessed people do that and opt to wash it again rather than deal with the screwed up mess. That’s certainly not fair to the planet or the environment.
One of the biggest turn offs for people using a washing line is that they’ve simply not got a good one. Not many people realise how much washing like technology has moved forward, with companies innovating to make it all easier to manage.
Whereas you used to just have a one size fits all solution to dry your clothing, bedding and towels in the back garden, these days there’s a huge array of options at your disposal. For instance, if you’re a little vertically challenged, you can get a line that can be lowered for loading and unloading and raised to dry and catch the breeze. There’s also lines that can be tilted and extended depending on the area it’s installed and how big the load you’re hanging happens to be.
There’s no denying that drying laundry outside is better for the environment. Rather than burning up electricity and running up the bill, you can be using the type of renewable energy that’s around your home virtually every day in the UK – wind! It’s free, it’s effective and it’s fast.
As we said – having a decent line makes a lot of difference, and we’ve found several places online that can help you learn about them. There’s the manufacturers themselves (eg https://www.minky.com/), there are retailers that we’re all familiar with (eg https://www.argos.co.uk/), and there’s also a heap of information to help you figure out what you need before you buy it too (eg https://www.rotarywashingline.net/).
When you think about it, it doesn’t make a great deal of sense that we do things like turn of lights when we’re not in a room if we’re going to be lazy and use a tumble dryer when a garden is there to dry the washing in the breeze. It’s like saving a penny and throwing a pound coin away – and that doesn’t even begin to address the environmental impact.
Our parent’s generation were almost entirely reliant on drying their laundry on the line, as home dryers were far less common and even those homes that were lucky enough to be able to afford them were mindful of the cost of the electricity to power them. Somewhere along the line the laziness overtook the desire to be financially frugal, and thats a skill that has cost so many people dear in a world of spirally debt and growing unemployment.
No-one is saying it’s a sin to use the tumble dryer from time to time if you have one – just be mindful of whether it’s really essential, or you just can’t be bothered to spend a couple more minutes in the garden. In an era where we all spend a lot of time sitting on our bottoms in from of the TV, there may even be a mild health benefit from getting out in the fresh air for a few minutes, being active and soaking up a little vitamin D from the sun’s rays!…
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