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Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

Posted by sylvia55 (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 11, 07 at 9:50

From a puzzled Brit - I find if almost impossible to believe that some American people seem to have such a problem with hanging washing outside. This seems to spring from a bizarre mix of snobbishnes, prudery (shock at seeing someone's undies blowing in the breeze ???!!!) and what I must assume is sheer laziness (although find this hard to believe given the Americans I know). The use of a little fabric softener will prevent any stiffness of fabric & sunshine is a natural germ killer.Lifting washing out of a basket is a lot more fun than the boring gym on a lovely day and clothes air dryed last a lot longer. Come on you guys - get your act together on this matter. I cannot believe a cousin of ours living in sunny Georgia is actually BANNED from using a line in her development - this is ALMOST OBSCENE - friends in the UK really could not believe their ears when I told them - and I am lucky enough to live in the most affluent, attractive parts of our lovely country - so cut out the snobbery & cut the carbon the easy way. The Royal Family do - plus the Queen goes around Buck House turning off unnecessary lights.

Re Microwaves - leaving these on stand by CAN use as much electricity in a year as you use by actually cooking in the machine.....


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

I feel relieved! Seeing the title, I thought oh no, here we go again, more spam. But I'm pleasantly surprised. :)

Good points. Leaving things in stand by mode does use a lot of electricity. I was reading something just the other day about the amount of electricity used by wall warts and appliances in stand by mode and it was unreal.

I have several cell phones. I leave the chargers plugged into an outlet strip with a switch and switch the strip off when I'm not charging the phones. Can be used on a lot of items.

Turn off your computers when not using them! There's NO benefit in leaving them run.

I bought a plain old dial microwave. Don't need another clock to set during time change and why spend the money on electricity for it. I don't use my VCR often so I unplug it. Don't need that sucking watts either. I just put CFLs outside and one of my floodlights burned out so I bought a pair of CFL outdoor floodlights to replace it. Should be about 100-150 watts each difference on the bill when they're being used. And the CFL floods weren't much more expensive ($1 or $2 maybe?) than buying regular watthogs. And I had the CFLs for the regular outdoor lights in stock. I'm waiting to see how they work when it gets cold. Keeping my fingers crossed, but if I have to go back on those, I do. Big deal. Can change them back in the spring.


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From a confused Brit re washing line bans

From a puzzled Brit - I find if almost impossible to believe that some American people seem to have such a problem with hanging washing outside. This seems to spring from a bizarre mix of snobbishnes, prudery (shock at seeing someone's undies blowing in the breeze ???!!!) and what I must assume is sheer laziness (although find this hard to believe given the Americans I know). The use of a little fabric softener will prevent any stiffness of fabric & sunshine is a natural germ killer.Lifting washing out of a basket is a lot more fun than the boring gym on a lovely day and clothes air dryed last a lot longer. Come on you guys - get your act together on this matter. I cannot believe a cousin of ours living in sunny Georgia is actually BANNED from using a line in her development - this is ALMOST OBSCENE - friends in the UK really could not believe their ears when I told them - and I am lucky enough to live in the most affluent, attractive parts of our lovely country - so cut out the snobbery & cut the carbon the easy way. The Royal Family do - plus the Queen goes around Buck House turning off unnecessary lights.
Re Microwaves - leaving these on stand by CAN use as much electricity in a year as you use by actually cooking in the machine.....


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

sylvia55 - You speak in too many generalities.... All Americans aren't stupid and wasteful.

In our home we have as many things as possible on power strips so that they can be completely shut off when not in use. It IS amazing how many things in the home are using phantom electricity that really don't need to be on at all. Our phones do not require electricity. I use my cell phone so infrequently I only charge it when needed - about 3 times a year. All our light bulbs are CFL. We have energy efficient windows.

See if you also comply with some other energy-saving things we have around the home:

Do you have screens covering your windows that block 85% of the UV rays which help to keep the house much cooler in the summer?

Do you have window quilts covering your windows for use when it's cold?

Do you have over 1000 gallons of water in water containment containers (aka water barrels - many of ours are much larger than the typical water barrel)?

Do you have a solar-powered drip watering system for watering your garden and landscape?

Do you cook and bake in a solar oven (I have two of them)?

Do you mill your own flour and bake your own bread?

Just to mention a few....

BTW, I hang our clothes outside on a line and have all my life. I've always had a clothes line wherever I've lived. We moved into a new (built) home 18 months ago and designed a courtyard on the side yard just for that purpose. I never have to walk through wet grass to get to the line, which is commonly placed in the back corner of the yard. When I can't hang them outside, I hang them inside. I have a whole room in the basement set up with clothes lines.

-Grainlady


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To Grain Lady

Thanks for your reply. I know that all americans are not wasteful & that you are leading the way in alternative sources of energy etc. I was just talking from experience re some of the americans I have spoken to re washing lines. We do not have air con in many houses (admit we really do not need it most of the time). Also with double glazing do not need heating on in house on very many nights - hot water bottle is good to heat bed. Our fridges are much smaller so use less energy & believe our washing machines more efficient & can run at lower temperature (30 degrees C usually). Do have water butts to catch rain water for garden & use green washing liquid so can reuse washing up water on plants. Cannot say that we have solar power yet - hope to soon!. Really did not mean to slag off you guys - am sure that some people in UK use tumble dryers unnecessarily as well. Just that the actual rules re not hanging washing out really got to me as this is such a no cost way for folks to choose to save carbon.


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

I know that im probably not in the popular vote but Sylvia55 is somewhat right. We as americans have gotten use to our big cars, big houses, and our gizmos and gadgets that do everything for us that we would rather waste money and energy then hang our clothes out to dry. I read an interesting article in Womans Day last week titled "too much room to grow." Here is just the beginning.

"I have been known to call my husband on his cell rather than walk up 2 flights of stairs to ask him a question. Or to zap an e-mail room to room. Lazy? No, just housefat.
In spite of a tightening economy and the green conservation trend, america's houses keep growing along side with their waistlines. In 2005, the average house size was up to 2,434 sq ft, according to the National Home Builders Association. In 1950, the year my parents married, it was 983sq ft. and the average home had twice as many kids."

The article really got me thinking about not just our home sizes but also how spoiled and wasteful we have become. Why are they not allowed to hang dry their clothes in Georgia? Well the bottom line is it makes the neighborhood look bad and heaven forbid you look like your poor too. For most Americans life is all about how you look. Its sad but its true. Too many american are on welfare and still buy designer clothes. I am not talking about all americans. I think everyone on this forum is not lazy and they are quite resourceful. However most Americans really need a wake up call. Before going green became "cool" i was considered quite cheap to some of my friends. But now many of those friends are asking me how they can go green. I only hope more Americans do also.


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

"a bizarre mix of snobbishnes, prudery (shock at seeing someone's undies blowing in the breeze ???!!!) and what I must assume is sheer laziness"

I am not a snob... or a prude... or lazy at all... but we DO have allergies.

And hanging laundry outside, where it get coated with dirt, dust, pollen, and leaves from my neighborhood's myriad of trees, shrubs and flowers is detrimental to my family's health. Not to mention the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, etc that contribute to the problem.

Or course, if you'd like to foot the bills for office visits and medications, I might consider hanging out.... But I really don't think it would be worth the aggravation.


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

If one's computer has a backup or virus scan scheduled during night hours, it IS necessary to leave the system running ... although the monitor can be turned off of course.

Unplugging my microwave oven when not actively using it would be tricky, being that it's an over-the-range unit with the cord and outlet BEHIND it. Sorry, I'm not going to dismount it from the wall several times per day.

I do agree that the clothesline restriction is ridiculous.


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

dadoes, it seems to me it's a simple matter to schedule the backup during daytime hours, or do manual scans/backups. Leaving a system on so that it will scan/backup overnight seems a rather extravagant waste IMO. Certainly, turning the monitor off is a step in the right direction though.

And on the microwave, I don't think anyone suggests dismounting it, but perhaps in the future two things could be done: 1) Buy one that doesn't have the constant use; and/or 2) Install a switch on the outlet for it and use it. I'm hoping you meant it tongue-in-cheek, but maybe not.

One of the problems people (myself included) run into is to be able to overcome the but we've ALWAYS done it this way! mindframe. Just because backups/scans have always been done overnight or more likely are set that way by default and people fear changing the default settings, nevertheless it doesn't mean it can't be done during the day. Just because we always bought name-brand pasta doesn't mean we can't try generic and save some money. Just because we've always driven to the store every night to pick up something for dinner doesn't mean we can't change that. This is the type of mindset that leads to fear that the neighborhood might not be on the cover of magazines every week. Having been threatened with court action over a garden hose, lawn chair and a birdbath (to say nothing of the color of my roof!) I well know how ridiculous cities can be with their ordinances. Common sense ain't so common!


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

Dear Western Pa Luann - very sorry about your allergies. Please do not misunderstand me I am not obsessive re not using dryers - I did use mine yesterday in fact as the weather forecast was wrong @ it poured with rain. I did not want laundry hanging around getting musty. I did spin on high speed though to get as dry as possible.

Its just the lack of choice that I have a problem with.

My daughter gets skin allergies - not my fault as have got worse since she left home! She has found PURE Aloe Vera cream & drink very helpful. Plus she has been to a homeopathic doctor who helped - also cured my husbands frequent migraines.


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

I heard something on the news radio that shocked me. In a typical US home. 40% of the electricity used gors for appliances that run round the clock-such as your refrigerator,computer, clocks. I'm scratching my head to come up with ways to shut things off. I do shut down my computer but it's usually late at night, after everyone else has gone to bed. And I have a battery clock in my kitchen. Does anyone still use wind-up clocks?


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

More than once I have been bitten my an insect that rode in on the inside of jeans hung out to dry. Ouch!

Taken from the link below:
A 'Right to Dry' movement is growing, with some states introducing legislation to override clothesline bans.

Woohoo!

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Complete article dated Aug 24, 2007


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

As I mentioned on the duplicate, but less active post by sylvia55 - it's the newer (70's to date) housing developments with HOA's that will ban the outside wash lines... If you want to live in such a neighborhood, you agree to abide by their rules regardless of how rediculous they may be. The motivating factor for those who set the rules is in making an attempt "to keep up appearances" and to ultimately retain property values. (They cared much less about the cheesy standard issue and often inappropriate landscaping, substandard subcontracted materials, the bulldozing of all the construction debris under a thin layer of topsoil over which they sprayed on some grass seed.) How do I know this -I lived in an upscale development community on the East Coast for many years. You do have a choice - and that is not to buy into such communities but into older residential neighborhoods established before anyone ever dreamed up the HOA idea.

Little by little, I think we're all getting on the conservation bandwagon - cfl's, turning off lights, etc. when leaving a room, rain gardens to catch and cleanse hardscape water runoff, capturing rainwater for houseplants, maybe a little less lawn, a little more plant material that doesn't require constant supplemental watering, making our own compost, doing errands in a straight line as opposed to all kinds of toing and froing with gas at over $3 a gallon, buying as little overprocessed, over packaged foodstuffs as possible. frequenting local farmers markets for produce, recycling our papers, cans, and plastics. Whether or not it does anything for the bigger energy picture, at least we feel good about what we're doing. I feel much better about my small things than I do about high profile "stars" like John Travolta who fly their big personal jets around to lecture others on conserving.

As for laundry, that's a once a week chore in cold water with a biodegradable product, and, yes, I do use a dryer - I'm neither lazy nor stubborn but sometimes there's a convenience factor that simply cannot be denied.

And I don't think using Her Majesty as a model of frugality resonates. Her little white glove budget is probably equal to the GNP of many countries.


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

163.04 Energy devices based on renewable resources.--

(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or other provision of general or special law, the adoption of an ordinance by a governing body, as those terms are defined in this chapter, which prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the installation of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources is expressly prohibited.

(2) No deed restrictions, covenants, or similar binding agreements running with the land shall prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar collectors, clotheslines, ...etc.

(3) In any litigation arising under the provisions of this section, the prevailing party shall be entitled to costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

(4) The legislative intent ... ... ... This section shall not apply to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.

Here is a link that might be useful: new - Florida Law, Clotheslines.


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

cynic,

Backups and virus scans put a load on the system so tend to be an interference if they run at the same time one is trying to do other work. I use my computer numerous times throughout the day.

I'm not understanding what you mean by "Buy one that doesn't have the constant use" in regards to microwave ovens. I personally don't like OTR units, but it's what the builder installed in this house. I'm not going to throw it out to save a couple dollar per year on power to run the clock.


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

Me using the drying was pure and simple laziness and a love of soft clothes. Our development does not allow laundry to be hung out to dry and that's fine with me. If your idea of a snob is someone who doesn't want to look at another's undies, it's a minor problem. I myself have a lot more to worry about than that kind of snobbery, like walking, remembering where I am walking to. LOL


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

Let's not take these concerns personally, as they are not meant that way, I am sure.

But it does seem to me important that we get serious about not only conserving our use of petroleum - as we're digging more holes and getting fewer barrels of crude from each.

It took millions of years to make it ... and we've been using it for less than 100 years. With very little concern for conservation.

Plus, burning all of this is adding to not only global warming, but pollution, as well.

It seems to me that our preoccupation with "growth", and crying the blues if it's less than 2% per year, is a false religion. If our eceonomy grows at 2% per year, in less than 35 years it'll double.

We should insist that our auto makers make vehicles that'll operate for 30 years.

Same for appliance makers.

There were no fridges 70 years ago ... people in cities had ice delivered for their ice boxes two or three times a week.

By 50 years ago, they were building refrigerators that lasted for 40 years. Many knowledgeable servicemen tell us to fix the old ones, as the new ones are built to last only a few years. We should use the steel etc. more sparingly ... and think of the energy that it takes to mine, smelt, fabricate and haul the materials to achieve all of that. Our engineers can make fridges to last for 50 years - let's insist that they do it.

When many of the people in disadvantaged countries get their fridges, TVs, autos, etc. think of not only the energy that'll be required.

Plus - what'll we do about that increase in warming, as well as the pollution?

Serious problems await our children ...

... and our grandchildren.

Let's start to improve things, not add to the burdens.

ole joyful


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RE: Save $$$$$$ on costs of laundry/microwaves

I am sorry that I have upset anyone re my opinions on having the choice to dry laundry outside. Still cannot get my head round why seeing a washing line causes SOME people to have the vapours - seems like a lot of hot air to me!

Seriously - I do know that dryers have their place eg
*when people have allergies
*when you live in dusty etc environment
*when little (and no so little) Jonnie/Jane need their clean sports gear like yesterday
*when weather not good for drying.

On the last point - correct me if I am wrong scientists - but I do not try & dry washing on radiators etc as think this lowers the temperature in the house making the heating system have to work harder & PREFER to use the dryer when not good drying day.

However I do find that
*clothes dryed outside come in soft - maybe our fabric softner is different in the UK - you can also use a steam iron if clothes too dry
*when using a dryer (unless you are cleverer than me - which I expect you are) you run risk of REALLY creasing & overdrying & shrinking & otherwise damaging fabics
*I did once have a fire in a dryer when I was young & stupid & tried to dry a duvet (comforter?) in it - luckily came home in time before too much damage done. So .....
*do not feel comfortable leaving house with dryer on

Perhaps it is cultural but our gardens (back yards) are usually quite private & even if not we feel we can do what we want in them as long it is legal & does not frightened the horses (no I do not have a horse). We also really value our personal freedom & can be very pig headed about ignoring stupid rules. But if you choose live in a "listed" or very historical building you do have certain restrictions on changing windows etc. - this does not include not hanging our your washing though!

I am not anti technology but hanging out laundry (WHEN APPROPRIATE - LETS HAVE SOME COMMON SENSE) seems a no brainer way to do out bit to lower carbon emissions & pollution generally - plus save quite a lot of money in the process.


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