Using the Sun

The thermometer reached 98 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, the highest recorded temperature in Seattle since record keeping began some hundred or so years ago. While 98 may not seem like a number worth reporting, you have to keep in mind that this is a part of the country where most folks do not have air conditioning. So on days like today and yesterday the best you can do is set some fans in the windows and try and keep the activity to a minimum.

“Keeping the activity to a minimum” for me came in the form of playing chess with my friend Michael Ashley. He taught me how to play a few days ago and since then we have played around 11 or 12 games, all of which I have lost. But despite my losing streak I have found great enjoyment in the game and hope to find someone who I can beat in the coming weeks (the ego can only take so many losses).

Oh, about the propaganda at the top of the page. The dryer in our house is on its way out. Has been for a while now. It makes an unbelievably annoying squeaking sound while attempting to dry the clothes contained within its bowels. Today the dryer failed to do the one thing it was created to do, dry. So while standing there with damp clothes in hand and a heavy heart an epiphany of sorts came to me, what if, and I know this is gonna sound crazy, but what if the same sun that was heating the surface of the earth (and my skin) to a toasty 90+ degree temperature could also dry out my damp clothing? Grant it that would involve me taking the clothing out of my house (a task that seemed overwhelming at first) and hanging them on the fence, an activity that could potentially involve an amount of work I wasn’t prepared to exert on this overly tepid day. In the end, the success ratio seemed high enough for me to risk it. So after 30 minutes of solar exposure the clothing on the fence had given up the last remnants of moisture, creating the same desired effect as the dryer but without the noisy squeaking sound. I might have even saved us .60 cents and used a few hundred kilowatts less.

Here’s an idea, on the next sunny day instead of throwing your clothes into the black hole of your dryer, find some rope, string up a clothesline and hang your clothes on it. You’re clothes will thank you. You’ll not only save a little bit of money on your utility bill (up to $2,000 a year) but you’ll also save your clothing from an early demise. The fact is that dryers destroy clothing at an unbelievable rate. The dryer industry has another name for those $150 dollar pair of designer jeans you bought last month, lint.


Blogger Ross O said...

Mr Hill invented this great thing in Aus called a Rotary Hills Hoist. there is one of these or similar in nearly every back yard, I cannot remember the last time I used our drier. Even in the winter u caun usually get eneough sun to dry things or then bring them in and hang them in the house to finish, I love to do my bit for the enviroment.

4:13 PM  

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