Out on the line: laundry goes retro

Published 5:41 pm Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It’s not uncommon for Fred Andrews to spend part of a warm sunny day hanging laundry out on the line.

Andrews, who lives right outside Montevallo, hangs his and his wife Sue’s laundry out to dry and has done so ardently for the past four years.

“I have more time than I have money, so, I don’t see any use blowing what I do have around in the dryer,” Andrews said.

According to Project Laundry, a non-profit aimed at making air-drying laundry acceptable as a simple way to save energy, many households can save up to 25 percent on their monthly bill.

Supporters also claim it makes clothes last longer and naturally bleaches and disinfects laundry.

Anne Thomas grew up in Montevallo but she and her husband left for a short time living in Fort Worth, Texas and then Virginia Beach before returning home.

In Fort Worth, Thomas’ husband put her up a line to hang her laundry out on. She said she just loved the freshness it gave her clothes.

“I love my towels when they’ve been out on the line,” Thomas said. “And it keeps my whites so bright.”

Both families began hanging laundry out to save money.

“That ole dryer will just run and run,” Thomas said. “I’d rather be consuming air conditioning rather than drying my clothes. I can’t help but think about all it would cost to dry most of it.”

Andrews said he and his wife hung their laundry out early on in their marriage. Then, like many young couples, he and his wife splurged on the modern-day convenience of a dryer.

Andrews said he aims now to be frugal as he can be with all types of energy. He and Sue keep their thermostat turned up in the summer and down in the winter, they recycle aluminum cans and make a point to garden organically.

“I do the best I can, but I’ve got to live here too now,” he said.

The Thomas’ stint in Virginia Beach also hooked them on recycling. There were bins there making recycling convenient.

“We recycle –– now we do not even fill the garbage can up halfway in a week,” Thomas said. “We recycle all of our paper, plastic, glass and aluminum. Anything that can be used again, it’s so important.”