Laundry And The Environment: Part Three, Line Drying

With the average family using a dryer upwards of 200 times per year, at the cost of a half tonne of CO2 emissions, laundry actually has a huge impact on the environment.

It’s no secret that carbon emissions and renewable energy is at the forefront of most people’s minds when the topic of environmentalism comes up.   With the average family using a dryer upwards of 200 times per year, at the cost of a half tonne of CO2 emissions, laundry actually has a huge impact on the environment.

The first electric residential dryer was brought to market in the 1930’s but due to cost remained largely out of reach for most families.  Technological advances through the 1960’s and 70’s brought the cost down. These days, in Canada and the US, over 80% of homes have a dryer.   This, however, is a North American phenomenon. In Australia, almost 60% of households have a dryer. Throughout Europe and Asia, many families do not have dryers, and if they do, do not actually use them, opting to hang dry instead.

Here’s why you should hang dry:

  • Its free!  Other than an inexpensive drying rack or line, the up front costs are pretty much nil
  • The sun is a natural disinfectant, killing off germs and bacteria
  • The energy saved by not using your dryer is substantial.  This translates into actual dollar savings on your hydro electric or gas bill AND reduces your carbon footprint
  • Sun dried clothes smell good.  They really do. Rather than synthetic fragrances for that fresh scent, simply use the fresh air and sun that mother nature provides.

To step up your laundry game, please read our article on how you can lessen the environmental impact of your washing.