Tag Archives: natural home

How Much Can A Clothesline Really Save?

With spring coming on I’ve realized I’ve been slacking big time on using the clothes line.  I know it’s important for a LOT of reasons, but, the dryer is right there….

I need some motivation to get off the dryer at least for the summer.  So, I went in search of real stats on why throwing that wet laundry into a basket and carrying it upstairs to hang outside is better for the natural home than just throwing it right into that dryer just sitting there next door to the washer begging to dry the clothes for me.


How Much Cash Will The Clothesline Save?

For most people in the US running your dryer costs about $0.30 – $0.40 per load.  As a family of 5 I do approximately 10 loads of laundry a week including sheets, rags, towels, and clothing for each of us.  So I can save a couple of bucks each week if I put a bit more effort out and use the clothes line. Ka-Ching!


Can The Clothesline Really Help Save The Environment?

The short answer – Yes.

The “How” is a bit more complicated. Basically, if we all use less power, we need less power generating sources; all of which have some type of negative environmental impact.  When the power demand is less (because you’re using your clothesline instead of your dryer for example) this negative impact is reduced or even eliminated!

Of course, using the dryer is only one electrical appliance in one household.  There are a myriad of other ways to save energy and even more ways to work towards saving the environment….but, there’s no doubt about it.  It’s more environmentally friendly to use the clothesline than the dryer.


Is It True Clothes Can Be Saved By Line Drying?

That’s what they say.  When the dryer tosses clothes around zippers and buttons snag fibers and age clothes more quickly.  The evidence?  Look in your lint tray.  There is no lint when line drying.

Now, I’ve washed a tissue, or a piece of paper for example and, well, the dryer is nearly essential when trying to get these fibers off.  But, the same is going on to the fibers of your clothes that you actually want to stay where they are each time you run them through the dryer.  So, you really can save your clothes (and even more money!) when air drying clothes vs. using the dryer.


Well, I guess that’s a lot of savings when you look at it that way!  I would probably add too that when I use the clothes line I’m more active as well plus, I get outside; so there’s a bit of “saving” for me there too!

And, you can’t forget that smell.  There’s nothing like that dried in the sunshine and fresh air smell……

Looking at all these ways using a clothes line can save really gives me the extra motivation I need to get the laundry outside this summer.  And, ideally, this “no dryer” vibe will keep flowin’ all year through and we’ll finally set up a system in the basement for line drying so we’re covered for rainy and winter days too.

How about you?  Can you have a clothes line?  Unfortunately, some developments prohibit them.  And, we’ve seen folks with some types of allergies be aggravated more when their clothes were dried outside.  Overall though if you can find a place to string up your clothes, are able to get a wooden drying rack, or can make some other contraption in order to avoid using the dryer in your natural home, the environment, your clothes, and your wallet will all thank you!





Why Simplicity Often Prevails in the Natural Toy box

Don’t worry. This isn’t one of those posts that goes on and on about how you HAVE to buy wooden and natural toys and how all plastic toys are bad, bad, bad. Okay, well maybe there is a hint of that, but really I just had to share my fascination and complete surprise over the popularity of a truly simple toy that entered our semi natural home this year and how it reminds me that simplicity and toys go very well together.

To squash all ideas that I have ALL natural toys in my home, I would like to assure everyone that there are plenty of plastic toys to be found in our abode. We actually have two small bins of miscellaneous plastic crap that I like to believe accumulates in everybody’s house. Then we have nicer plastic items, many purchased second hand, ranging from an educational cash register to a huge box of animals and the beloved Strawberry Cafe and even Diego’s Tree House.  So as you continue to read this, know that I go for balance over zealousness.

The simple toys that I have seen playing more roles in our house than any other? The Pegs and Cups. Who would of thought, right? Even when I was purchasing this item from Urbanhomesteaders on Etsy, I was thinking, “Am I just throwing 15 bucks away?” Well, while they obviously weren’t the highlight of Christmas morning, they have served more roles in playtime than you can imagine. And I have no doubt they have a lot more roles to play.

simple toys for kidsThese little pegs and cups have been used for simple sorting and color matching, they have been friends of the gnomes and a family all on their own, they have been nail polish, perfume, a million other sprayers and creams used in a variety of scenarios and as you can tell in some photos, even the dog found a way to love this natural toy (the kids could care less that one is chewed and obviously it was not purchased in that condition). I have found these little cups in the play kitchen, in doctor kits, in dollhouses, spread out on tables and well, everywhere. Smaller children come in to the house and immediately start to put pegs in and out of cups.

I often reflect now on what makes these toys and similar ones we have that are timelessly popular so much fun and I think it is the fact that they are so very simple. There is no flashing light or strange sound confusing the situation. These toys are only what the child’s imagination wants them to be and this gives a sense of accomplishment that makes for happy confident children. Curious by nature, children presented with a clean slate can make great things happen. Don’t believe it? Just give them a blank piece of paper and see what they can create.

I try to be conscientious of the items I place in the play area. Again, balance over zealousness. When looking at a toy I often ask myself, does this toy encourage imagination? Will my child interact with this toy or will the toy interact with my child? Then I move down the list of can I buy it used or is there a natural alternative to this item. The more a toy does, the less a child must do; keep your toys simple and set your child’s mind free.

I would love to see some of your favorite toys and hear about what makes them popular at your house.

Enhance Your Natural Home With House Plants

Looking for a way to bring that extra something to your home or office?  Try adding an indoor plant to your space.  They have a LOT to offer a natural home!

House plants offer proven benefits for your overall health and wellness including –

Improving Air Quality

Reducing Stress

Providing A Natural Feel or Ambiance

Increasing Feelings of Well Being and Happiness

House plants can also be a fun way to involve kids in the care of the natural family home.  They offer them a bit of responsibility, but not too much, while at the same time allowing children to experience the always miraculous event of watching something grow.

Not only do house plants have all of these benefits for us though; they’re affordable too!  You can find them pretty small for a dollar or two and enjoy the rewards of watching the plant grow, even if it is kind of slow.  Or, look for larger plants at yard sales and moving sales.   Last year when we were on the lookout for a few more large indoor plants to add to our new, much sunnier home we found some at a moving sale for free in fact!

house plant cuttings in a windowMany house plants make their own babies too like spider plants for example.  Others are pretty easy to re grow from cuttings like Jade Plants and Pothos.  Either way growing new plants this way can be another option to help make adding plants to your natural home affordable.

All you need to do to begin growing a new plant from the ones you already have is just take the tiny plant or the cutting, gently remove a few leaves from the bottom if necessary,  and put it in a jar of water in a sunny window.  Before you know it there will be roots coming out of the cutting and you’ll be able to plant your new plant into its pot of soil.

It can be fun to start or add to your collection of plants by asking your friends for cuttings of theirs too.  Much like separating plantings for sharing with fellow gardeners, sharing house plant cuttings is fun and makes the resulting plants even more meaningful.

Now, I know many will read this and say “I don’t have a green thumb – I can’t grow house plants” but there are some indoor plants, like Pothos and Spiders, that are so easy to grow.  You just need to be sure not to over water them.  Check the moisture level of the soil each time by hand and water only when its dry.  House plants are very forgiving and worth a shot even for those with the blackest of thumbs.

If you need affordable pots for your houseplants, check thrift stores, yard sales, and post on freecycle.org; never know what treasures you might find!  You can also reuse items from around the house like coffee cans or old tea cups.  Make plain pots more lively with paint, glitter, stickers, etc.  Chalkboard paint can be a neat addition to plant pots too.

House plants offer so much to a natural home and can bring many years of enjoyment with just a bit of your love and care.  Bring some plants into your home or office today and see what a difference they can make naturally.