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Drying for Freedom
Rules state that 60 million Americans cannot hang dry their clothes at home and must instead use an electric tumble dryer.
That's the findings of a BBC article that summarises a serious problem with America's regulations that are at odds with the environment, the economy and, also it seems, a bit of the old fashioned common sense.
We previously reported how 80% of the environmental impact in a t-shirts life comes from washing and drying phase. That's no surprise considering that the tumble dryer is the most energy-intensive household appliance and they are used regularly.
Environmentalists are starting to realise that tumble drying clothing is one of the main sources of domestic emissions in develop countries - and homeowners are beginning to feel the pinch of exponentially rising electricity costs. Yet in the US at least 60 million Americans are banned from hanging their clothing dry due to rules that were put in place - in the name of aesthetics.
Put simply, some people got together and said they dont like the look of clothes being dried outside, when you can use a tumble dryer. Lobbied for it, and made it illegal.
But with the people becoming a little more switched on to the environment, climate change and energy saving - not to mention with electricity costs rising - the scene is set for a clothes line showdown across the pond. Groups are gathering political momentum to allow them to hang their pants outside on a line: It looks quite British to be honest, and fun, but there's a serious message behind the campaign: If we washed cool and hung our clothes out to dry, we would significantly reduce the energy needs and carbon footprint of our households.
Luckily we don't live in the US and don't need a protest movement to change these rules. We can save all this carbon, and all this money, whenever we want. All we have to do is decide we want to use a clothes horse or line and get to it.
There's a message stamped into the green circular button on every Rapanui product - Wash Cool, Hang Dry.
Next time you're doing a wash; please have a think about it.
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