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Oregonians Can Help Environment by Hang Drying Their Clothes

Hang drying clothes is an environmentally friendly alternative to power hungry dryers. (
Hang drying clothes is an environmentally friendly alternative to power hungry dryers. (
August 5, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – For Oregonians looking to become greener, environmental groups are suggesting that people pull their clothes out of the dryer this week.

The Oregon chapter of the Sierra Club and Solar Oregon are hosting Hang Dry Your Laundry for Climate Change Week.

Joe Wachunas, a Solar Oregon contractor, says this is one place where Americans can save a lot of energy.

It's estimated that each load of laundry uses around three kilowatt-hours of energy and each kilowatt-hour needs about one pound of coal.

"So you're talking about three pounds of coal every time you run your dryer, and there are estimates anywhere from 4% to 10% of residential houses' electricity use is spent on the dryer," he points out.

Wachunas says the beauty of hang drying is that it's easy and folks only need a laundry line or drying rack.

He adds for people who are afraid of colors fading in the sun, they can turn their clothes inside out.

The eco-friendly Spin Laundry Lounge in Portland is hosting a celebration on Saturday to promote hang drying.

Wachunas says his epiphany on hang drying came after spending a year as an exchange student in Italy, where only 3% of households have a dryer. He says dryers aren't common even in other developed countries.

"In the United States, I find that most people – it's not even on their radar screen to hang dry our clothes,” he states. “Our grandparents did it, my parents used to do it, but even environmentalists don't even think about it that I've found. I don't know anyone else who hang dries their clothes in the United States in my community."

Solar Oregon is hosting a social media contest, inviting folks to post pictures of their clothes drying. Participants should tag Solar Oregon with #hangdry.

Everyone who enters gets a free membership to the organization and a chance to be part of the 2020 Solar Winery Tour.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR