Not a cloud in the sky.
National Hanging Out Day first appeared at that renegade college in Middlebury, Vermont, back on April 19th, 1995. The idea was to spur people on to hang their laundry to dry instead of using the energy guzzling dryer. That was 14 years ago. Hmm. The idea certainly hasn't transformed the country - yet.
And it's too bad really. We are headed for some pretty awful, predicted scenarios when it comes to climate change. In fact, in the last 2 weeks, those predictions are worrying scientists (real climate scientists, not side liners) - that the climate is crashing even faster than they thought. The number one way to alter the degree of crashing (the sea levels are rising) comes down to (it's more complicated but this is basic) CO2.
CO2 is mostly a by product of the energy we humans like to use. Some of it we have deemed necessary (like the refrigerator or running hospitals), but there are many areas of energy use that we don't need. Those are the areas that we can shut off today, right now - those wasteful energy users that unnecessarily add CO2 to the atmosphere. (and yes they do add up and make a difference) Like unnecessary lights, idle power and... the clothes dryer. (the dryer can use as much as 10% of the average household energy.
Some people love to hang laundry. To them it really is like hanging out. They find it meditative, relaxing and refreshing. Besides, hung dried clothing (is that okay language?) smells better and lasts longer.
Not me. I still do the "ugh" when I pull the wet clothes out to hang to dry. My laundry rack is right by my washer so it is pretty darn easy. I'm not too fussy about how it hangs. The bottom line, is it takes less than 2 minutes to hang an entire load of laundry. (no, I don't live alone and I have 3 kids)
That gets us to the current modern day excuse of time - you don't have the time to hang your clothes. Really? You don't have 2 minutes that can come from something else? So are you saying all the other people in other modern cultures who are hanging their clothes to dry have more time than we do? I think that is an insult to other modern cultures. Other people have "full" days too. Let's face it, some folks are hung up on this issue and use time as an excuse. Ouch.
Most of us don't like to feel guilty about things but guilt can be a red flag for your internal voice saying that you might be doing something you shouldn't be. Maybe you know that hanging your clothes to dry can save lots of energy..CO2... (and you money) and that for a small amount of effort (less than 2 minutes per load) it can make a huge environmental impact. But you just don't want to. So you make the time excuse and call writers and bloggers holier than thou.
Come on folks. We're all in this together. I'm not suggesting you give up your frig or burn candles at night. But I am suggesting that you really can fit in a little time to hang dry your clothing and stop using the number 2 energy hog in the house (next to the frig) and save lots of unnecessary CO2 going into our already gasping atmosphere. I am suggesting this is one of the very few lifestyle changes we can make that makes a huge difference.
So, this Sunday, April 19th, commemorate National Hanging Out Day by doing just that - hang out your laundry, have some friends over, do a cook out and ...just hang out.