Thursday, June 17, 2010

D is for donate...

D  is for donate.... 

I've discussed donation in several of my blogs, and how donating usable items instead of adding to landfills makes sense because it not only helps others, but also helps the planet.  Items can be donated to family, friends, the library, schools, etc. 

To locate donation sites in your community, you can google "where to donate used items" or check out some of the following sites and plug in your zipcode.  You can also join FreeCycle to donate many varied items that would otherwise end up in the landfill, you name it, and someone out there wants or needs it, from used doors, to grills, clothes, baby gear, vacuums, sewing machines, mattresses, furniture, etc. You list your items on the site, and members will email you to arrange to pickup the item.   

There are several well known organizations that you can donate to as well: 
 Other sites to check: 
    Donating makes you feel good, keeps useful items out of landfills, and helps others.  It's a WIN-WIN!  Happy Donating!!

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    C is for clothesline...

    C is carbon footprint, compost, cleaning supplies, and clothesline...

    Growing up, my Mom had a free-standing umbrella-style spinning clothesline, and I can remember standing on my tippey toes and helping her take the clothes off the line.  When a friend asked if I'd greened my laundry yet, I had to admit that the only thing I'd done so far was to use cold water instead of warm or hot, and I've switched to eco-friendlier laundry detergent.  But I know we can do better!  

    I checked out some info on the net, and found some pretty interesting info.  Here are 10 reasons to use a clothesline from

    Why line-dry?  For starters, dryers use 10 percent to 15 percent of domestic energy in the US.

    10. It saves money — more than $25 a month on electric bills for many households.
    9. Clothes last longer when line-dried.
    8. Clothes and linens smell better without exposing your body and the environment to potentially toxic chemicals in many detergents, bleaches and fabric softeners.
    7. It can conserve energy and the environment, while reducing climate change.
    6. It is moderate physical activity that you can do indoors or outside.
    5. Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.
    4. Indoor racks can humidify in dry winter weather.
    3. Clothes-dryer and washing-machine fires account for about 17,700 structure fires, 15 deaths and 360 injuries annually. The yearly national fire loss for clothes-dryer fires in buildings is estimated at $194 million.
    2. It is fun. And it can be an outdoor experience that is meditative and community-building.
    1. Line drying clothes demonstrates that small steps can make a difference.

    With these reasons fresh in my mind, I began looking into installing an old fashioned clothesline to dry the clothes with the power of the sun instead of paying for the electricity :)  There are basically two types,  the umbrella-style spinning clothesline which is typically installed on a post in the ground with cement  (I did see one at Lowe's) and the pulley-type of clothesline (which is much less expensive, and the materials area also available at Lowe's).  I decided I wanted a pulley-type, and we found out what hardware and supplies we'll need, and went so far as to buy the items.  But then the project stalled as life got more hectic than usual and we had an ah-ha moment that I'm glad we had before doing the project.  We realized that the distance from the house to the tree, is pretty long and that traditional cotton clothesline will sag and stretch a lot as a result.  We thought back to a dog run we had at one point that went from the house to the same tree, and decided we'd have to get creative and instead of traditional cotton clothesline, we will have to use coated wire to support the weight of the laundry over the distance similar to the dog line.  

    There lots of different options for installing outdoor clotheslines too.  I found some good info on the following sites:,,1558520,00.html
    I'm very  excited to see how it helps to decrease the electric bill and the yummy sunshine smell of sun-dried laundry!    Stay tuned and I'll let you know how we make out...