Monday, March 30, 2009

Caring for Your Wooden Clothes Drying Rack

A drizzly day - doing what spring should.

Hang drying clothes on wooden clothes drying racks is making a big comeback. Racks are typically (should be) unfinished wood and with that, comes some "how to care" tips. Apparently caring for your wooden clothes drying rack isn't second nature to some people and before your know it, the rungs turn black with mold and they start to warp.

So here are 8 tips and some advice on how to care for your drying rack:

1 - Keep your unfinished wood...unfinished. Do not paint or seal - it won't last.

2 - Carry your rack from the sides, not from the rungs.

3 - Allow rungs to dry in between loads. This avoids mold growing. Mold needs moisture - no moisture - no mold.

4 - As soon as heavy laundry (usually jeans) is dry, remove to avoid warping.

5 - Keep dry. Avoid outdoor exposure. Wooden drying racks are not designed for typical outdoor use. (especially rain!)

6 - In the event of black speckles (mold spores) place the rack in the direct hot sun to kill the spores. You may rub a little white vinegar on the rungs. NEVER use bleach. (unless you want white stripes across your laundry)

7 - Sanding the rungs lightly keeps them soft and snag free. Rub clean after sanding. The dowels are unfinished wood, usually kiln dried wood, and will swell with moisture resulting in the grain of the wood to rise a little, feeling a little fuzzy. That's normal, wood will absorb moisture and dry as the seasons change.

8 - Store your clothes drying rack is a dry location (not the wet basement). Store upright to avoid stress on the joints which may loosen the joints over time.

Wooden drying racks have been around for a long time. Following this advice will keep your drying rack almost good as new. (we're talking unfinished wood, will never look good as new)

Oh, and did I say you'll save lots of money and help climate change too?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Watch Earth Hour 09 - Then Let's Do It!

The Earth Hour Video 09 - This is good. This is motivating. This is something we can do. So get some clean burning candles this week and/or a crank flashlight or two and enjoy the peaceful darkness. Mark your calendar - This Saturday, March 28, 2009 , 8:30 - 9:30 pm.

For additional motivating information go to:

Or the International Earth Hour Website to Vote Earth.

And the WWF. (That's the World Wildlife Fund, not the world wrestling federation)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Green St. Patrick's Day

Sunny morning but the air is way too thick, looks like a humid summer day instead. Hmm.

So even in honor of the little bit of me, maybe 2 %, that's Irish, I will don my green clothing. (It's actually reclaimed from Christmas) Oh why not, any excuse to wear, talk, write or be green.

If you want to be a little cheeky, you could always get a nice outfit from the local Goodwill, or wear something passed to you, and hang a little paper tag in the shape of a 3 leaf clover (from your to be used scrap paper pile) around your neck pointing out that you are indeed wearing green despite what ever color it is. After all, it is suppose to be a fun day!

And for eats you can always opt for corned beef and cabbage, without the beef, by stewing up a big pot of the traditional veg and perhaps quadruple the amount of herbs and spices for an equally yummy feast. Add some locally made/organic bread, for dipping, to top it off.

And naturally you have to wash this or any other meal down with some green beer. I don't mean the kind that is literally green in color. No, I mean the other kind of green. You know, locally brewed, maybe even organic. Or heck, you can even make your own beer. And try drinking that green beer in real glass, it sort of elevates the occasion if you know what I mean. (And if you want to step it up a notch, try a recycled mug!) And besides, no wasted plastic. You might have to BYOG (bring your own glass), but you'll be the eye of envy. (Isn't this where I say something about green with envy?)

So have some green fun today. It's a perfect day to spread the word. Sort of like what the original St. Patrick did 1500 years ago.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Still Choosing Soft or Recycled Toilet Paper? - Get Over It!

Beautiful sunny day but the brown horizon is back.

There's been a lot of hoopla lately about soft versus recycled toilet paper in the press since the release of a toilet paper guide from Greenpeace. Big fellas like the New York Times and the Guardian (London) reported on it adding their own stats on forest destruction for tissue paper and their "own take" on this dirty subject.

The statistics from Greenpeace are overwhelming with regard to the use of virgin wood for ... toilet paper. It's mind boggling to me really that it is being done at all. To avoid lots of high lighting and exclamation marks, I won't repeat all the stats to you here. (Besides, I want to remain as low key as I can for the rest of the day.) All the articles are excellent and I urge you to later click through for more detailed information, mind boggling stats and all.

I don't get this obsession for softness. I've tried most of the recycled toilet papers and there are some pretty good ones out there. My favorite is Green Forest and it is a very good price. Marcel is soft too but higher priced. What I find amusing is, the softness of these 2 products is probably as soft or softer than the softest toilet paper of 20 years ago. And if you go back 30 or 40 years ago, these products would have been the cream of the crop and totally acceptable. Am I showing my age here? hmm.

Doesn't anyone remember the days in school when you pulled on the little sheets of paper and out came a thin sheet that I swear was covered with wax? Forget softness and absorbency there. Any one been outside of this country? If you have, and presumably long enough to use a toilet, then returning to any U.S. toilet paper is a joy. I'm not for one minute suggesting we go back to those days of small waxed sheets, because we don't have to. We have perfectly good and soft, highly recycled, priced right toilet paper available now on the market.

Even Fox News couldn't push the "softer is better" because their own Fox "Bill", in a blind feel test, chose the recycled paper for the softer of the two. Oops.

So are we really whining over a small degree of softness, a level of softness that was perfectly acceptable just 20 years ago (I'm being generous, maybe only 10) at the expense of cutting down, yes, cutting down trees when we have all this recycled paper at our disposal? I'm sorry, I just can't wrap my head around this one. Before you call me names, before you call this snarky, before you press the comment, I urge you to read all the articles above.

And after all that, if you still need to squeeze the Charmin, all I can say is "Get Over It!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fast Company Does Some Real Fast Talking on BPA

Spring rains, foggy, or is misty better?

There's a new sleuther on the block. Touche to Fast Company for their thorough (8 pages) article on the history of the BPA and how it was manipulated into our products. Much like the tobacco companies (which I have previously mentioned), the chemical companies muscled in early and we are now paying the price.
No point in repeating the points in the article here. It is excellent, up to date and factual. Fast Company dug deep and brought some real insight into BPA.

So please, please, please read this BPA article for some real reporting.