Save The World and Your Wardrobe – National Hanging Out Day

National Hanging Out Day – not a day to chill with friends (though that is nice), but a day for all Americans to choose to hang their laundry to dry instead of using an electric clothes dryer. The goal is to show how effective one tactic, such as using a clothesline, can be in cutting back our contribution to global warming.

national hanging out day

Dryers use 10 to 15% of domestic energy in the United States. There are 88 million dryers in America, and if everyone converted to lines it could reduce residential output of CO2 by 3.3%. That's pretty huge.

I love hanging my clothing to dry – not only do they smell as fresh as a spring day, but they don't shrink and they don't fade. Clothing constantly placed under heat and the tumbling of a dryer are faster to thin, wear, get holes and fall apart. Many dry clean only garments can easily be washed by hand or on the gentle cycle of your washer and dried on a rack or hanger.

Don't have a yard for a clothes line (or the weather for line drying)? Clothes don't have to be hung on a line outside to dry. Right now I have half my closet hanging off my shower curtain rod in my bathroom. Big box retailers and shops like The Container Store and IKEA offer collapsable drying racks that can fit in a corner or your bathtub and can accomodate a whole load of clothing. Retractable clotheslines and folding wall racks can hide out of sight until laundry day. I even use the towel bars in the hallway bathroom to dry dish towels and lingerie.

I encourage you to celebrate National Hanging Out Day – save energy, save money, and save your wardrobe!


  1. Nadia
    April 25, 2010 / 10:52 am

    Sorry- can’t participate. My condo has regulations against this. 🙁

  2. April 20, 2010 / 10:29 am

    I HATE clothes dried in the drier (I have had bad experiences) to me there is nothing better than getting the laundry out on the line. They are fresher, easier to iron and if there is a good wind/breeze they are as soft as drier dried clothes!

    Also on a bright or frosty day hang out any whites that need stains removing or just need brightening up (nappies) as the sun and frost lifts stains!

  3. April 20, 2010 / 9:29 am

    With having four children and the appropriate amount of laundry to go with them – I hang out all the time! I have two “hang-a-way” drying racks and one lives on my deck (Ha ha HOA!) and one in my basement. I hang almost everything except towels in the winter. I would never dry my jeans in the dryer – I thought you were not supposed to???


  4. Anonymous
    April 20, 2010 / 2:55 am

    I love your green posts Allie.
    We don’t have a dryer as well. I bought two collapsible drying racks from Container store instead (for $25 a piece) and I am done 🙂 It saves me tons of money: the cost of the dryer, electricity bills, shrunken and short lived clothes. And the most of important of all, it helps to save a planet for my children to enjoy.

  5. April 19, 2010 / 8:09 pm

    I love the idea of this, but in our “planned community” it is against regulations to hang clothes outside. Even though there have been attempts at the state level to override such silly community regulations, they have always failed. Seems people have nothing better to do than to try to keep things “tidy” in their community, regardless of the environmental impact.

    So, I usually have to use the dryer or hang some things up in the bathroom…however when summer rolls around, the little rebel comes out in me and I hang that laundry. (lower than the fence line and risking a fine)

  6. Court
    April 19, 2010 / 7:44 pm

    We don’t have a dryer and we don’t miss it, I have to say. I especially see a difference with our baby’s clothes – much of it still looks brand new.

  7. April 19, 2010 / 7:42 pm

    I love hanging clothes to dry. They just feel fresher that way. I don’t have a problem with stiffness, but if you do you can just throw your clothes in the dryer for about 2 minutes after line drying. It’ll soften them up but still use way less energy than completely drying them in the dryer.

  8. April 19, 2010 / 7:29 pm

    I try to do this at least once a week, when my husband does not see me because he complaints about his polo shirts being STIFF…!
    I don’t care I still do it.

  9. April 19, 2010 / 4:27 pm

    Wow. I didn’t realize today was National Hanging Out Day. That’s awesome.

    We never use our dryer. When it’s warm enough, we line-dry our clothes outside. In the winter time or when it’s raining, we use a drying rack we got from Ikea and dry our clothes inside.

    Very true about the benefits of line-drying. Not only is it better for the environment but it’s better for your clothes too!

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