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“Turn that bloody light off!” One English Evergreener turns childhood tradition into energy savings

September 28, 2010

Leave it to the Evergreeners to find the unturned stone of rotary drying to submit to The Smallest User blog! Many thanks to Alasdair & Bettina for this great energy (and money) saving tip as well as the healthy dose of humor.

by Alasdair & Bettina

With our almost-100-years-old Evergreen house, we know the windows are the biggest wasters, but we have been trying to save money and energy for several years in other ways. The main thing I wanted to share was the joys of ROTARY DRYING… No, not that thing you just rode at the Delta Fair and threw up in, and this has nothing to do with tying your undies to a helicopter. I’m talking about the foldable clothesline that I remember from my English childhood.

In England, everyone had (and still has) them.  And for $39 we got one from Wal-Mart (purchased online and shipped to the store so that we had to spend as little time in there as possible!) and put it in the back yard. You are supposed to create a cement block and put the base inside it, but I’ll  be honest: I just dug a hole, dropped the base in and stomped the dirt back down. And it has given us faithful service for over a year now. We keep it in the garage and put it out at the weekend when we do laundry.

For a family of 4 it has helped a lot, and we rarely use the dryer at all during the summer – even  bath towels and sheets are dry by lunch if you put them out in the morning in the 100 degree heat! Luckily our back yard is fenced, so the neighbors don’t have to look at my leopard-skin thongs flapping in the breeze, thus removing the “eyesore” effect.  I recommend this one to you. We also have a nice dry basement where we have folding clothes racks as well, and between all these, the dryer remains dormant from April till November. You can imagine how much THAT saves!

Additionally, we have always just opened our dishwasher once it is finished and let the dishes dry by themselves; they are usually so hot that they are dry within the hour. We usually do our dishes in the evening then leave it open overnight. In fact, I can’t remember ever having the drying element on in all of the 7 years we have had it!

Other ways we save are: having the thermostat off during the day and keeping  the air at 78 (fans on) or the heat at 68 in the winter; changing air filters every 3 months; weather-stripping the old door frames; keeping blinds closed; unplugging “stuff” when not needed; and of course – every parent’s favorite – “Turn that bloody light off!” I also proudly keep my grass a nice shade of “Parchment” in order to save water and save me from cutting it so often (at least that is my excuse), so we are not wasting water on having green grass.

If you have any comments or questions for Alasdair & Bettina, e-mail Ashley and she will pass them along. Thanks so much to these super-involved Evergreen residents for sharing their story!

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