IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ: Ecopolitology has moved to a new host and a new domain. Please adjust your bookmarks and be sure to check out the beautiful new ecopolitology 2.0 theme by pointing your browser to www.ecopolitology.org, or by following this link.


August 12, 2007

Ditch Your Dryer, Save the World: Civic Greenwashing

Media coverage of issues related to global climate change and resource conservation has been steadily increasing over the last few years. Articles and advertisements ranging from how to green your back-to-school purchases to where to buy the best free-range, organic, pesticide-free, sustainably-produced, and "natural" products have become commonplace as consumers are bombarded with suggestions that buying some sort of product or another will somehow have the cumulative effect of saving the planet. In a world where eco-friendliness is increasingly obscured by corporate greenwashing, it can be refreshing to see media coverage of issues that don't necessarily equate buying things with environmental beneficence. On that note, and in terms of a different type of greenwashing altogether, the Fort Collins Coloradoan ran a story about how some people in the Choice City choose to hang dry their clothes, and how one man's efforts to save some money might just save the world [Alright, now that I've got your attention, I apologize for hamming it up a bit much; and I won't exactly be saving the world, but you should really read on]. The following was excerpted from a piece written by reporter Kelli Lackett from the Fort Collins Coloradoan on 8/11/2007:

Tim Hurst, a 35-year-old graduate student at Colorado State University, has been using a clothesline exclusively for the past five years. He said he started hanging his clothes on the line because the dryer was broken. "Primarily I was too lazy to get it fixed. But now it's more about the environmental impact. Third, it's about saving money on the electric bill," Hurst said. "On the really nice hot sunny days, the lightweight clothes dry in under half an hour." Hurst lives west of Horsetooth Reservoir where no one objects to hanging clothes on the line “You can look around and several houses around here have clothes hanging out,” he said...
(I like how they included my comment about being too lazy to get the drier fixed. I had a feeling when those words slipped out of my mouth they would end up in the paper.)

3 comments:

rick said...

It strikes me that the future of the world may depend on mankind's ability to forgo some/many of the technologies we have developed. For a long time, the development of new technologies signified progress. But just because we can replace a window with a light bulb or a clothesline with a dryer doesn't mean we should. Yet technology is seductive...and weaning ourselves off it may prove a most difficult challenge.

Tim Hurst said...

Well said, Rick. Weaning ourselves off of technology will be more than difficult. One of the paradoxes of modernity is the unwavering belief that technologies can/will be improved upon. We accept the new over the old, especially if it is "easy" or "cheap" to do so. With this in mind, hordes of manufacturers, marketers, advertisers and salespeople will continue peddle their "new and improved" items to satisfy the Western appetite for material objects.

SantaFeKate said...

Your grandmother and your great-grandmother would be proud!!!