Dry with a Twist

It was a workhorse, working so hard – harder than it should have. European appliances are known for their interminable cycles, but even after the very dry setting, lasting much more than an hour, I’d have to add another 20 minutes. And sometimes more. The fatigue was apparent.

I should have cleaned the filter more often. Not the regular lint filter in the door, but the one in the tray underneath, the über-filter. It’s not that this didn’t occur to me. Along with the all other should do things that come to mind over the course of a day, it was on that list I never quite get to.

Last week it just gave up. It turns and turns and turns, but it doesn’t dry. The handy guy who always helps us out with these questions said the repair would be difficult and costly. And he’s a scrapper. If he wouldn’t fix it, then it probably isn’t fixable.

The dryer is dead. Long live the dryer.

Except there won’t be an accession. We’ve decided not to replace it. We’re leaning green, going line-dry.

We all say we care. We do care. But are we willing to change our habits – really change them – to help the environment? It’s easy to justify our choices in the name of convenience, or make excuses about how such a little energy-saving gesture saves nothing compared to the amount of energy wasted by entities far larger than our household. The same goes for recycling. What difference will one family really make, given the amount of garbage that is disposed of so carelessly? Is it even worth the time and effort it takes to wash those bottles and containers and separate plastic from paper from glass? Half the time I wonder if it all doesn’t just end up in the same landfill anyway. Do we really know what happens to the contents of our recycling bins?

In the scope of things, it is a small gesture. One tiny green decision not to replace an appliance. But I am reminded that small changes add up. Maybe the kilowatt hours of electricity we save won’t make a difference, but at least I can mean it when I tell Short-pants and Buddy-roo that I’m concerned and conserving. Walk the green talk, at least a little.

There is another reason that De-facto‘s so pleased with this decision: it’s cheaper. Except for the touchy issue of the crunchy towels. Fortunately (or maybe not) there is a laundromat across the street from our building. So when I’m not dutifully hanging small garments across the wires of the drying rack that creates such an elegant aesthetic in our living room, I’ll be collecting coins and running up and down four flights of stairs with a laundry basket, just to give those towels a softer touch.

How long do you think this will last?

4 Responses to “Dry with a Twist”

  • Dee Says:

    Thank you for this post. Because it seems as though you see the true value in the little bits that add up. I think it will be a challenge in the beginning – it’s so easy to just toss the clothes into the dryer – think of what you are passing on to your children. Like the farmer that plants a tree knowing they won’t always see it grow to its fullest yet knowing it was a good thing to plant it, you too are planting your sapling. Thank you for the reference to my blog!

  • j Says:

    Cynically speaking, reading between the lines (of your title and highlighted in orange!), I can’t help wondering if you’ll be wandering to the office, while the towels soften and the changes add up. Brilliant twist Eco-Mamma, cross that one off the list!

  • Tall Dude in Chicago Says:

    I grew up in a house with no dryer, and my parents STILL don’t have a dryer. I learned to plan my laundry to make sure I didn’t run out of underwear (nothing worse than clean soggy drawers) and got used to crunchy towels. And I do line dry some stuff now (delicates and sporting apparel, in a rather “Mutt & Jeff” display of dainty stuff and thick fleecy items), since we have a humidifier working hard to put moisture into the house, and a dryer that works hard to take moisture out of our clothes. Yes, it’s a humid battle royale in the utility room!

    Still…I’d never want to live without a dryer. I got used to crunchy towels, but that doesn’t mean I like them! Good luck, and nice job of walking the talk for your children!

  • 6512 and growing Says:

    We line dry (inside in the winter) and besides crunchy towels and ALL THAT HANGING AND FOLDING, it’s no biggie.

    I especially like to hang my daughter’s tiny little dresses; it makes me happy.

    Our stove died a month ago and we’ve been making do with one electric plug in burner and a toaster oven. That is a little bit more complicated. If you wanted bacon *and* waffles *and* coffee (as I did this morning), breakfast would take three hours.

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