Category Archives: News and Events

BLUEdot Has Reviewed Urban Clotheslines!
Posted by August 27, 2015 at 8:18 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry Environment News and Events

This summer, the BLUEdot Register did a Carbon Footprint Comparison Study with us, comparing a conventional dryer vs. a clothesline. Obviously the results were going to be great, but if you want to know how great, keep reading.

Photo is CC 3.0 by Michael Gäbler

Original photo is CC 3.0 by Michael Gäbler

First, let’s talk about BLUEdot Register. BLUEdot aims to protect our Earth from climate change in three ways:

BLUEdot RegisterEducating people on how to reduce their own carbon footprints

The BLUEdot site is an abundant source of information on what sorts of energy improvements are happening worldwide. Their blog, Practically Green, is full of everyday tips on living a carbon-conscious lifestyle.

Selling carbon offsets

A carbon offset is an investment in an environmentally sound project. These are often renewable energy farms or environmental restoration projects.

Evaluating the carbon footprints of businesses and products, and helping concerned citizens decide where to shop

When BLUEdot looks at a business’ carbon footprint, it compares their products to more conventional options. In our case, it was a clothesline vs. a dryer.

Want to know how a clothesline compares to a dryer?

We chose one of our best dryers, the Stewi First Lady Rotary Clothesline, to compare to both an electric dryer and a combined electric and natural gas dryer.

Counting all carbon a dryer creates in its lifespan includes mining materials, building the parts, getting it to the customer, all the shipping between those steps… and finally, the carbon cost of each household use. The average American family dries a load of laundry every day, while the average mechanical dryer lasts less than 13 years.

The Stewi First Lady is going to last longer than 13 years, but we had to stop somewhere.

The result? The First Lady creates 99% less carbon over the 13-year lifespan of a conventional dryer. And then it lasts longer.

What we couldn’t factor in are the carbon savings from how much longer your line dried clothes last.

Why we chose the Stewi First Lady

The Stewi First Lady Rotary Clothes Dryer

It dries huge loads.

We didn’t want to cheat by comparing a puny clothesline without the capacity of an electric dryer. The Stewi First Lady has over 200 feet of drying line.

It’s Swiss made.

Same idea: we wanted to compare a dryer that is at least as well-made as its counterparts, and from sturdy materials. A durable build may not increase the lifelong carbon cost though, considering the dryer lasts longer.

It fits a concrete-free ground socket.

You can get a removable Stewi Soil Ground Socket if you need a non-permanent spot for your clothesline. Of course, if you want to cement your ground socket, the one that is included with the Stewi First Lady is a fine choice.

To read more about the Carbon Footprint Comparison Study, visit

Cutting Board Scrub with Lemon and Kosher Salt
Posted by April 16, 2015 at 8:43 PM under News and Events

Cutting boards have grooves for you to clean. They get knife damage, even the ones that are made of consistently dimpled plastic. Wooden cutting boards are often made of more than one piece to begin with. Plus, many of us just treat them badly, leaving them out, using them as hot plates, only washing them when we actually cut something with moisture, like meat. This means they can pick up stains too.
So how do you really clean all those little knife grooves? Do you pour vinegar over them until you can’t feel your nose?
lemonsThis idea from Rachel at All Kinds of Yumm kicks bacterial butt. Take half a lemon and rub the juice all over the cutting board. Then coat the juiced surface with kosher salt. After letting it soak for 15 minutes, use the lemon to scrub the salt all over the board. Don’t ask me why, but kosher salt is a different crystal shape than regular table salt, and it scrubs stains. Lemon is a disinfectant acid that smells way better than other chemicals or vinegar. After all that, you don’t need soap. Just rinse off your cutting board, get the other half of your lemon, and do the same thing on the other side.
Visit All Kinds of Yumm for more information.

Start the Climb to Stop Getting Taken for Granted at Home
Posted by January 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM under News and Events

If household management is management, then it involves human resources management. A healthy home includes everybody’s efforts to take care of it, so everybody feels like a member. Most importantly, the primary housekeeper needs respect and to delegate in order to prevent burnout. But if you’ve waited too long to distribute chores to your kids and spouse, how can you convince them to change? Well, it’ll be a slog, and you have to change too. Heather Solos has extensive encouragement.
It’s called home economics for a reason.

Bake Your Baking Soda to Make Homemade Washing Soda
Posted by January 23, 2015 at 3:50 PM under News and Events

sodiumbicarbonatepdSince we’re on the topic of unsafe laundry detergent, here’s yet another model of how easy household products are to make.
Check out this recipe for washing soda: spread 2 or 3 cups of baking soda in a baking sheet or pan; bake at 450°F for an hour, stirring once or twice. When it sits at 400°F long enough, your baking soda will turn into grainier washing soda. Washing soda gives your detergent extra strength against grease and stains, whether you use a conventional detergent or a homemade one.
Thanks to Mommypotamus for the recipe.

What and Why Are Chemicals in Our Laundry Detergents?
Posted by January 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM under News and Events

With all the recipes for homemade laundry detergent on the web, one begins to wonder how we adopted all these synthetic laundry products in the first place. Branch Basics has an overview that includes natural ingredient shortages during the World Wars. They also have an extensive warning of what are the hundreds of petrochemicals in unsafe detergent and how to spot them.
Click because it’s gone too far.

Getting Everything Done… and Everything Else, Too
Posted by January 22, 2015 at 8:00 PM under News and Events

Parenting and housekeeping are full time jobs, yet most people want to do more. In the following question and answer post, Heather Solos helps a Home Ec 101 reader figure out how to get motivated to do household projects that are beyond the bare essentials. Heather shows that energy and time management are housekeeping techniques, too.
Click to read about life experience.

Practical Homemade Apple Cider in a Slow Cooker
Posted by January 22, 2015 at 5:00 PM under News and Events

Aliceapplecc3byZozzaMost ways to make apple cider involve canning skills and equipment. Plus, you have to plan ahead to make gallons of the stuff. Our Wellness Mama, Katie, has come up with a more practical technique. Using a slow cooker, you can put this apple cider together in a day and use it up in the coming week.
Happy winter!
Apples are CC 3.0 by Wikipedia user Zozza

3 Ways to Keep Your Front Load Washing Machine Smelling Fresh
Posted by January 22, 2015 at 10:50 AM under News and Events

Here are three tips on how to stop or prevent your front load washer from smelling.
Let it dry
Keep the door open between uses to air your washer out. The door seals moisture in; it’s great when you’re washing clothes in there, but moisture can linger easily when you don’t need it to. Don’t forget to keep small children and pets out of the laundry room when you’re leaving your front loader open.
Use detergent formulated for high efficiency washers
Because front-load washing machines need less water, they also need less foaming detergent. Regular detergent can foam up so much that it eventually builds up on the hardware. If you must use regular detergent, at least use less.
Clean your washer cheaply
If you suspect a soap buildup, run your washer on hot with 2 cups of vinegar. Vinegar is a cheap, safe acid that reacts with and cleans soap. Repeat if necessary.
Source at About Laundry

How to Use Ground Ginger Everywhere
Posted by January 21, 2015 at 8:00 PM under News and Events

If you like the taste of ginger, you may be wondering if you can use it to improve your health, too. Visit Premeditated Leftovers for ten answers from Katie Femia. From home remedies to self-love, these ginger ideas are easy to use and are pleasant to the senses.
Spice it up.

Do: Clean Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Posted by January 21, 2015 at 5:00 PM under News and Events

Why do we procrastinate to clean our bathroom exhaust fan? Well, it’s just one part of the house, you can’t see how dirty it is under there, and how do you get in there anyways? Let’s just ignore that it controls moisture in the bathroom and delays or prevents mold and mildew problems that can affect both the value of your home and your health, since the consequences are slow and invisible.
Or let’s visit Jillee’s detailed photo tutorial and build our confidence.
Time to learn something new.