Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nuclear-Powered Clothes Dryer, An Etheree

If Madison Avenue advertising agencies wrote Etherees* they might come up with something like this Etheree to promote a green alternative to automatic clothes dryers.

clothes drying
method with no
hidden fees or costs
your clothes will dance dry in
gentle breezes—fresh and pure
you use the same safe, clean power
that grandma used way back in her day
our space-based fusion reactor: The Sun.
With the nuclear power plant emergency in Japan, I feel increasing urgency to trim my energy use. Simultaneously, I feel increasing pleasure when I do my small part to shrink my carbon footprint.
Today I am taking particular pleasure in the spring breezes blowing through Sebastopol because they made it possible to give my automatic clothes dryer another day off. I used my clothesline instead. 

Leaving the car parked for one more day, we walked downtown to do our shopping. We stopped at the Sebastopol Farm Market in the Town Plaza. Our neighbor Laura Shafer set up a spot to promote her business, She promotes drying clothes in the sun.
Laura and me

As I talked with Laura, I realized that I can insinuate using clotheslines into my kindergarten curriculum. I plan to do that tomorrow. What reason is there for me or my assistant to hang up the cloth towels the kids use when they could hang them up and feel good about taking responsibility for the task? Duh! (Sometimes I wish I could teach 30 more years.)
I’d like to leave you with these facts. If you use a clothesline to dry your clothes:
You’ll save as much as $300 on your energy bills.
Your automatic dryer will last longer.
Your clothes will last longer, too. (Turn them inside out to reduce fading in the sun.)
You will enjoy the meditation of using a clothesline. (I promise you will!)
Your contribution to green house CO2 emissions will drop by as much as 700 pounds annually.
Please visit Laura’s website,
Inside-out your jeans

*Consisting of ten lines, the Etheree starts with a one syllable line, then adds one syllable per line, ending with a final line of ten syllables yielding an overall syllable count of 55. In other words the syllabic structure is as follows: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. It’s an uncomplicated, unpretentious form of writing that has the quality of slowly opening, like a flower.  Try composing one—you may like it!


paula devi said...

And your clothes will carry the beautiful scent of natural sunshine!

Teresa Evangeline said...

I use my clothesline all summer. I love seeing them on the line and the clothes smell so good, especially the sheets. I love going to sleep in them right after making my bed. It reminds me of my childhood, when we hung everything out. I call it the sweet smell of childhood.

steven said...

it can all be so very simple eh dan!! steven

Jo said...

Fabulous, Dan!

Hanging jeans inside out? I never knew that. And clothesline meditation? It sounds...plausible!

The Etheree is genius. Have fun with the little ones.

Dan Gurney said...

Paula, yes, I really like the way they smell. Laura suggests planting lavender near your clothesline. That's a great idea if you can do it.

Dan Gurney said...

Yep, we do sheets too—they're the best of all. We can use our clothesline from February to mid November, though it's a little marginal close to the middle of winter.

Dan Gurney said...

steven, sometimes simple seems complicated and vice versa, don't you think?

Dan Gurney said...

Jeans? You bet. Hang 'em up inside out and so the air can go down the legs. The denim dries okay that way.

Tess Kincaid said...

Besides all the wonderful reasons you list here, there is something so very comforting and nostalgic about seeing clothes flapping in the breeze. It's a rare scene these days.

Dan Gurney said...

Tess, oh yes! The air's quiet dancing is made visible by the laundry on the line. And the beautiful dance does nothing to drown out the voice of Earth's dance in the leaves of the trees. Automatic dryers remove both the dance and the song of the wind from our backyards and streets.

I marvel at Madison Avenue's ability to replace clotheslines with much more expensive to buy and more expensive to operate automatic dryers. That was not a no-brainer sale. It's like leaf blowers replacing rakes and brooms in the yard. How did they convince us to make the trade, especially when it costs us both money and peace of mind???

The Solitary Walker said...

Great stuff, Dan! Loved the etheree. Drying clothes on a clothes line! Whatever next? Food cooked over a flame rather than microwaved from a carton? Trips to the round-the-corner shops taken on foot rather than in cars? Good grief. This is all getting too much to contemplate!

That inside-out trick with jeans is a good one (my mother-in-law is great on all these washing and cleaning tips). Keeping them inside-out for the ironing essential too.

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks, Robert. All those next steps sound wonderful to me. I love to cook, too, especially on a gas stove. I have yet to iron jeans or to heat the iron on a wood stove, but perhaps someday I will! Our little town is part of Cittaslow, an Italian offshoot of the "slow food" movement. I find slowing down to be the perfect antidote to being hurried and harried by life these days.

Reya Mellicker said...

What a happy picture of you and your friend, and what a great idea for those who do not live in polluted urban areas. YES!

Dan Gurney said...

Is DC that polluted? I think of DC as relatively clean, though I've not been there in a LONG time. How sad if that's not so, and you can't dry your clothes outside where they can dance.

Murr Brewster said...

Not only that, but I love hanging clothes up, and sticking clothespins in my mouth. I get out of the habit here, where we have had no sun in, I don't know, six months or so. In fact, I should go out and take in those clothes I hung out in November, huh?

But I do have a basement, and if I don't think about the spiders much, I should be able to string them up there.