Welcome to The Part-time Green Prepper!

I read a variety of blogs of stay-at-home moms who home school their children, prepare every food item from scratch, prepare for emergencies, have removed all dangerous chemicals from their homes, recycle and compost nearly everything they use, live frugally and are nearly self-sustaining due to their large gardens and farm animals. I would love to do all of those things. However, that is just not possible with the place I am in life right now. My husband and I both work full time. I am trying to figure out how much I can reasonably do with the time I have available. This blog will describe some of my attempts at prepping, preparing home-made natural foods for my family, growing our own food and going green. I know many of you will do all of these things better than I do, but I am trying and that's the best I can do!

Monday, July 4, 2011

My new love . . .

I have a new love . . . it's my clothesline! I have had it for just over a week now and I'm doing laundry every day just so I can use the clothesline! Our family is trying to lower our electric bill and trying to be more green, so what better effort than a clothesline? We live on top of a windy hill and have no neighbors to speak of who could complain about our clothesline, so why not give it a shot?

I researched clothesline for a few days before finally making a decision in consultation with DH. I didn't want to put permanent poles in the yard for dh to mow around (especially if I didn't stick with actually using the clotheslines). I also didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a "system"--that just defeats the purpose of trying to save money by drying outside. We don't have any trees in our "yard," just in the woods-too far away from the house- so I was at a loss as to how to put up a clothesline. We finally decided to move the kids long-abandoned clubhouse from out back to up near the polebarn and string the lines between the clubhouse and the pole barn.

I bought some eye hooks, clothes line, clothes pins and a clothes pin bag at Dollar General. (Expect for the hooks which I got at the hardware store.) It wasn't hard to set up at all--I did it all by myself! Now I have 4 lines about 25 feet long each. So far it's been more than enough space.

I have to interrrupt this story by saying that during the school year, my DH does the laundry. He has a system in which all laundry is washed, dried and put away in 1 day. It does however take an entire Sunday. Now that I am on summer vacation, I take over the laundry duties and have come up my own system that works great for the clothesline.

1. I use home made laundry soap. It's the basic hm recipe with Fels Naptha, Borax and washing soda that you can find all over the web. I add a little tea tree oil since I have it on hand. It works out to a cost of about $0.01 per load.

2. I put a load in the washing machine first thing in the morning after I get up. While that washes, I have breakfast, straighten up the kitchen, check the email and daily blogs I read and get the boys started on their days. By that time the washer has stopped and I go hang the clothes out on the line. I am still learning the best way to hang everything so I won't give any suggestions on that!

3. Once the clothes are out to dry I take my shower and go on with my tasks for the day. By afternoon the clothes are dry and I bring them in and put them away. I do put towels and jeans in the dryer for 5-10 minutes to soften them up because that's how I like them.

By doing a load everyday, I can keep the loads small and manageable. The first few days I used the clothesline it was cloudy, cool and damp. The clothes took a long time to dry and the bugs really were attracted to the damp clothes. Sunny and breezy days are the best. Yesterday I did 2 loads because it was such a hot, breezy day! Today I did sheets and they were dry so fast! I also discovered that even though it seems like the bugs are attracted to the clothes, by the time the clothes are dry and ready to be brought in, the bugs are gone!

I doubt that I will be able to use the clothesline for every load once school starts back up again and I am back to work. I know how busy everything gets and it just won't happen every day. Hopefully I'll be able to still use it for some loads on the weekends.

If you have the time, I do suggest you try using a clothesline. It's actually fun!

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