not sure if you heard yet or not, but as of 7:51 this morning i am pretty much famous.
i was featured on the TODAY show this morning during their #GreenifyYourRoutine segment for earth day and matt lauer, willie, and al sung my praises.
and by 'featured' i mean they they showed my picture for 8 seconds and by 'sung my praises' i mean they read aloud the caption i had posted with the picture. BUT IT WAS AWESOME!
if you've spent at least 3 minutes with me you know my love for the today show and especially al roker. alex and i went to manhattan to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary last december and i'll admit i was way more excited about seeing al roker than i was about anything else that weekend. i completely forgot to pack pants (i know, i know, how does someone forget pants?!) so i had to stand in the blistering cold for 4 hours in black tights but it was so worth it because during a commercial al and the rest of the team came out on the plaza and i got to meet him and he told me he liked my sign!
ok, back to my new found fame...
i got home from work yesterday and did a quick load of laundry. i hardly ever do laundry during the week because there usually isn't enough sunlight left when i get off work to dry my clothes but now that the days are longer i went for it.
i sat down once i got them washed and hanging on the line and was browsing facebook when i saw the today show had posted this:
Tomorrow is Earth Day! What do you do to "greenify your routine"?
Tell us or upload pictures in the comments below! We may use your environmentally friendly tip on air. #GreenifyYourRoutine
i went outside and snapped this picture and uploaded it in the comments on their status saying, "i hand wash all my clothes and line dry them."
as much as i wanted them to show it during the segment the following morning i honestly thought there was no way they really would. but to my surprise, as i sat there on my couch sipping my morning coffee like i do every other morning, i see that segment is coming up and i got my phone ready to record on the chance they mentioned me, and THEY DID! i was so surprised to see my own face that i couldn't even hold the camera still and i stopped recording too early thinking my part was over. an awesome person over at wxii12 sent me the full clip. my part starts at the 1 minute mark.
i am doing a horrible job acting nonchalant about this. i wish i could be all whatever about it but Y'ALL! i am so excited! i couldn't even finish my coffee i was so giddy!
i love the today show! i love al roker! i love doing my own laundry! and now the whole world knows it!!!
and yes, for all of you who've asked today, i do in fact do all my laundry by hand and line dry it! and it's a lot easier than it sounds and surprisingly fun!
last year while we were still living in chicago i got so fed up that we were paying almost $4 per load that i promised myself that when we moved out of the city and i had the space i would wash my clothes by hand even if i had an in unit washer and dryer.
i made that lofty promise and then once we moved back to north carolina i had no idea where to begin. growing up we hung our clothes on a line in the backyard so that part was easy, but washing? that sounds, like, um...hard.
after reading a few blogs of others who do it and watching a couple tutorials i bought the basic essentials:
clothes wringer (i got mine here)
washboard (i got mine here)
plunger (i got mine here)
galvanized tub (local hardware store)
bucket (local hardware store)
clothesline (local hardware store)
grey water safe detergent (i use ecos. it can be bought lots of places - amazon, walmart, costco)
water hose (local hardware store)
dish washing gloves (walmart)
it does take several things you may not already have to get started and seems a like a hassle but once you get the hang of it it's so easy and actually fun. yes, i just said doing laundry is fun. i genuinely enjoy the whole process.
it's been a bit of a learning process in the few months i've been doing it. out of all the blogs and videos i researched none of them gave any info on what you really need. so for those interested here's what i've learned along the way:
- the clothes wringer is absolutely necessary if you don't want arthritis. hand wringing clothes will leave your wrists throbbing. one pass through the wringer and there is absolutely no water left. i tried wringing a few clothes out with my hands after i put it through the wringer and couldn't get a single drop.
- the washboard is also necessary. it's the only thing that gets dirt and stains out.
- the plunger (rapid washer). it looks like a toilet plunger but is made of hard plastic and has dozens of holes on the inside and replicates the agitation cycle like a washing machine. it sucks water through your clothes and aids in releasing dirt and stains. it's great! fair warning: the first time i used it my wrists hurt the next day. since then i've been smarter about how i hold it and haven't had that problem.
- grey water safe detergent is vital if you're washing outside. you can't dump normal detergent on the grass. i use ecos free and clear.
- 25 gallon galvanized tub. big enough to do a large load.
- an extra bucket to put the clothes in as your wring them.
- clothespins and clothesline. super cheap and easy peasy! especially since i had alex get all the stuff and install it :)
- you need dish washing gloves if you wash a load with hot water. when you're using the washboard you can't scrub the clothes without gloves on or the hot water will be unbearable.
there are a million reasons not to wash your clothes by hand and i can admit the advent of the washer and dryer can make the task a much shorter process but ironically, since i started washing my clothes by hand it has simplified my life. although the start-up cost seems like a lot because buying the items isn't necessary if you already have a washer and dryer, it's a lot cheaper overall.
my great grandmother had 5 kids and she hand washed her family's clothes. as i fill my bucket with water and scrub the pile of dirty socks that seems endless, i think of her, a woman i've never met but ultimately has had a hand in shaping me through the generations. i think of her hard work and devotion to her family and i am thankful for the values she instilled many years ago that have been passed down to me.
i love being self-reliant. i love how much money i save. i love getting back to basics. i love thinking of the millions of others who do the same thing every day. and as al roker said, "line dried clothing: nothing smells better." amen, al. amen.