I am in olfactory heaven.

I am in bed with my laptop and I can’t stop inhaling the spectacular smell of line-dried sheets. Today in London, Ontario, where I live, spring arrived – with its gloriously rich olfactory offerings. My nose isn’t discerning enough to note what contributes which smells – all I know is that there isn’t a laundry detergent (meadow, ocean breeze or prairie lily) that can compare. And today – with sunshine and temperatures in the double digits for the first time since October – was the perfect chance to douse my sheets in Mother Nature’s perfume.

Of course, I pretend that I line-dry my sheets and clothes because it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. And saves money! According to Project Laundry List, a not-for-profit devoted to the humble clotheslines, six to ten percent of residential energy use in the United States goes toward running clothes dryers. In fact, the average American uses more energy running a clothes dryer than the average African uses in a year for all her energy needs. Important considerations for sure. But the real reason I love my clothesline is that it takes me and my nostrils back to childhood, when my family’s clothesline was the perfect first base or hiding spot (if sheets were hanging) for many of our backyard games.

What amazes me, however, is how many people turn up their noses at the prospect of hanging their clothes to dry. I hear often about how line dried clothes aren’t soft (add a quarter cup of white vinegar to your wash to soften them up). That clotheslines are an eyesore (but a coal-fired power plant or smog isn’t?). That it’s more work (…I suppose it is).

To me, the benefits outweigh the negatives. Hanging clothes to dry is a very Zen experience. I get lost in the chore – enjoying the sunshine on my skin, the breeze, the birds (who hopefully don’t drop anything on my clean clothes). It forces me outside when there’s work to be done indoors…and I’m usually grateful for the few minutes of fresh air.

National Hanging Out Day is April 19th. Visit www. laundrylist. org for more information.

Leslie Garrett is a national award-winning journalist, author and editor, based near Toronto, Canada. She is the author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World and she has also written a dozen children’s books, including a biography of renowned environmentalist David Suzuki and “EarthSmart”, a book for young children on protecting the environment.

Visit: http://www. virtuousconsumer. com/

Via:www.greenmuze. ??m

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