Then we moved to Italy. In Italy, most people line dry their laundry. Dryers are available, but we were told they are expensive to run since electricity is costly there. It is not uncommon to see laundry hanging on lines outside apartments and houses. It is also not uncommon to visit a friend's home and see laundry drying in various places. It is not rude. It is simply a way of life. In fact, it is one of the things that Americans find charming when they visit. It can be beautiful and colorful. It evokes a simpler time. Days gone by.
We were fortunate enough to have a large laundry room so we had the space to line dry laundry out of sight. And, there was the environmental impact. I knew that if you line dry your clothes HALF OF THE TIME you will save 1150 pounds of CO2 emissions . . . the work of 23 trees! I felt good about that. Plus, I was in Italy and as they say, "when in Rome" . . . I was committed to line drying
While I did feel good about reducing our carbon footprint by line drying,* I grew weary of the process and the resulting crunchy clothing and towels. Italians have these big industrial sized steam irons they use to soften up crunchy clothes. Yup, they iron their towels, sheets, socks, underwear and jeans to make them soft again. The thing was, I was already spending a significant part of my day, every day, on laundry. I did not want to add steam ironing into the mix. Besides, after using a towel once or twice or wearing your jeans for a day, they soften up . . . a bit.
The next morning (yes you heard me correctly) I set it for another 90 minutes. Surely, there could not be enough water left in the clothes to fill the container again. OMG! I was wrong. After 2 more 90 minute cycles including breaks for emptying the water container, the clothes were dry. That particular load took 30 hours start to finish. I guess 30 hours is better than 48 or 72. I don't know if our dryer is an old crappy one or this is the norm, but I have now resigned myself to line drying the clothes and placing towels and jeans strategically on radiators again. I am back to saving the planet.
And while saving the planet feels good, I have a confession to make . . . truth be told, I miss being able to dry jeans, sweatshirts and towels in a heated wonderland. So my American brethren, heed my tale of woe. Go hug your dryer. Clean its venting tube, its lint trap and wipe down the exterior. Treat it like the appliance it is. And give it a kiss from me.