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Old 06-30-2011, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
Reputation: 32304

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Rider - I can see how many would think "well of course, if she's without electricity, then doing laundry by hand makes sense"; but I'll posit the opposite question... does it make sense to use an electric machine to do your laundry simply because it's available?

All those little things that "don't hardly matter" sure can add up in the end... the clothes washer, the dryer, the dishwasher, the vacuum. Do they really offer that great an advantage to manual methods?

Not an argument, just something to think about. We're all free to choose how we spend our time and how our chores get done... but really thinking about some of the thoughtless decisions we make everyday sometimes yields some profound surprises
My personal answer to the legitimate question you posed (which I placed in bold) is that it makes a lot of sense to use an electric machine to do our laundry, but not simply because it's available. Rather, because it's available and also because the saving of time and trouble is considerable in exchange for a small amount of electrical usage. So I would maintain that in my case it's not a "thoughtless decision", but a considered decision.

It would be easy to draw an erroneous conclusion from my answer, namely that I am wasteful. Actually, I abhor waste and I avoid it whenever reasonable to do so, and this includes electricity. If we look at the really big electrical usage, in many climates it would be air conditioning. I am extremely sparing in my use of air conditioning and I utilize techniques to keep the house reasonably cool without it, such as opening windows at night. I think many people have convinced themselves that they need much cooler temperatures inside than they really do.

It's a logical fact (as you point out) that all of our uses of electricity, no matter how small, add up to our total usage. I just think it is a bit extreme for people who are not off grid to forego electric washing machines.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Cute Little Town in PA
17 posts, read 90,495 times
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Could it also be erroneous to conclude that I am a bit extreme to do my laundry by hand?

After traveling abroad, camping and hiking frequently, and evaluating our lifestyles, my husband and I deliberately decided to outsource less and do more for ourselves. For every $ we save, less $ is needed, which means liquidity and more time together.

We are not falling on the sword of green living, it's that we just don't need an automated washer. We replaced our big heavy stuff with small lightweight stuff. Right now we are "camping" in our house, planning a move into a smaller, less bulky place - no washer required.

As an aside, my washtub never molds nor needs replaced; I can put it wherever I wish, indoors or out; and I can soak clothing for as long as necessary in clean water - the crud hidden behind the drum of an automatic washer starts building with the first load.

Has anyone used a James washer?

I appreciate reading tips from others on forums like these.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:35 PM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,651,383 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueDenim View Post
My husband and I enjoy doing laundry. Living, to us, is a pleasure, not a chore.
Ahhh... See? There's the difference. Back in "the day" it was the women doing the laundry. DH wasn't helping out. DH wasn't helping crank the silly thing.

If you enjoy it, more power to you. For me? No way.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:51 PM
 
Location: USA
2,779 posts, read 6,685,459 times
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I have discovered that in the olden days like the 1930s there was a manual machine without a wringer-it contained a spin basket to the side of the wash tub eliminating the hazardous wringer. Clothes could be rinsed will spinning.
So that would be a little easier to deal with and save energy and water if one so wishes. Doubtfullly these are even made anymore.

Really all we ever had was the top loader automatic. I don't even know how to use a wringer or a spin type manual, but thought I would throw it at the posters anyway.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Cute Little Town in PA
17 posts, read 90,495 times
Reputation: 25
Default What was it called?

Thanks for the tip! What was the washer called - was there a name for that style?

There are some companies making new, modern james washers. I intend to investigate what other washer models are available - maybe there are modern non-wringer models like the one you describe. (On another green forum I saw a deep thread about manual washer renovation and retrofit; for anyone who likes to tinker, an old washer could be just right.)

I think we will see more options for manual laundry in the future. Electric bills are killing us here in the USA.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
Reputation: 32304
Default Way too broad a generalization

Quote:
Originally Posted by SueDenim View Post
I think we will see more options for manual laundry in the future. Electric bills are killing us here in the USA.
Where in the USA are electric bills "killing us"? My electric bill averages a little less than $20 per month. I live in a small city about 10 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in a two-bedroom plus loft, two and a half bath townhouse. I am divorced and live alone - obviously each additional person in a household will use a bit more electricity. Since our heat is a dry heat and in our climate it cools off considerably at night, we can get by with minimal use of air conditioning, unlike most of the southeast, particularly the Gulf states. I know people in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for example, whose electric bills are upwards of $200 per month in the summer due to air conditioning. So it depends on climate more than anything else. Maybe your electric bills are killing you, but why do you generalize that to the United States as a whole?
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Cute Little Town in PA
17 posts, read 90,495 times
Reputation: 25
Thank you for correcting me on that one. You are right, it is way too broad a generalization
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