National Hanging Out Day: Ways to Dry With Solar and Wind Energy

Clothes hanging outside on a line in front of a picket fence.

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Forget about Earth Day; a much bigger deal is National Hanging Out Day, celebrating the humble clothesline, this Saturday April 19th. Why dry your clothing with coal, using six percent of the nation's electricity, when you can tell your friends that you have installed solar and wind power in your home, for the price of a clothesline? In celebration of this great day we present the party line on lines.

High-Tech Clotheslines

We recently profiled the cord-o-clip, the remarkable new reinvention of the clothesline that automatically feeds the clothing into the clothespins, sort of like getting them caught in a zipper. The developers tell us that since itsdebut in TreeHugger sales have taken off and they now have US distribution deals. No more clothespins in your teeth, it is like having a third hand helping you out. Handcranked server often is down, but try to connect at Cordoclip or the Clothesline Shop for $164. A commenter on the original post suggested that this was a lot of money for a clothesline; I would respond that it is a lot of clothesline for the money, with custom North-American made parts and a lot of technology. See it at the Green Living Show.

Australian Clotheslines

Clothes hanging in a garden on a hills hoist.

Heinz Tschanz-Hofmann / EyeEm / Getty Images

Why are we so backward about this in North America? Warren tells usthat in Australia, "The adjustable rotary clothesline, known as the Hills Hoist, is such a part of our psyche it is exhibited in national and state museums and was even incorporated into the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games." He notes also that "Sunshine is a brilliant sterilizer, so your clothes will smell great too. And according to Laundry List, you'll be safer as a result. They reckon that annually in the U.S., clothes dryer fires account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries." More at Clotheslines Hung Out to Dry

Indoor Clotheslines

A person hanging white clothes on an indoor clothesline.

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Just because you live in an apartment doesn't mean you can't join the party on Saturday. There are lots of different designs of racks that can by dropped from ceilings or set up over the bathtub so that you can do it inside. See a few of them at Right to Dry for Apartment Dwellers.

I think that the way they do it in Singapore is quite attractive, sticking all those bamboo poles out the window like flags for a parade. But we are so restrained in North America and Europe, so here are some more systems for hanging in. ::Today is Hanging Out Day, But You Can Hang In Too
Clothesline Contest!

Clothes hanging on lines stretching across buildings.

Jonathon Davison / EyeEm / Getty Images

In his post Fight for your right to dry Sean asked "First is was the slow food movement. Next, it was slow fashion and slow furniture. Could the glamorous world of laundry be the next slow revolution?" after noting that clotheslines are banned in many areas as being unsightly, he wrote "as always, we are turning to the talents of you, our readers, for help dispelling the myth of the ugly clothesline. Readers with an eye for design, we want you to take artistic photos of outdoor clotheslines that show both beauty and vitality. Post your photos on Flickr with the tag "treehuggerclothesline" and we will highlight the best shots on TreeHugger in the upcoming weeks."

He got no response; perhaps we needed to put up a prize. So whoever submits the best picture, as chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, will receive a copy of James Howard Kunstler's A World Made By Hand, a world without clothes dryers, where this entire debate would be met with a blank stare.