April 19, National Hanging Out Day

Every year, on April 19th, Project Laundry List joins together with hundreds of organizations from around the country to educate communities about energy consumption. National Hanging Out Day was created to demonstrate how it is possible to save money and energy by using a clothesline.

The Concept

Project Laundry ListFor many people, hanging out clothes is therapeutic work. It is the only time during the week that some folks can slow down to feel the wind and listen to the birds. Consistent use of clotheslines or drying racks can save the average household much more than a hundred dollars every year in energy bills. Clothes last longer and smell better, too.

Some communities prohibit clotheslines, ostensibly, for aesthetic reasons. National Hanging Out Day is a time to protest such draconian covenants. In some states, “Right to Dry” legislation is being introduced to override these restrictive community regulations that ban the use of clotheslines.

In this country, six to ten percent of residential energy use goes toward running clothes dryers.[1] The average American uses more energy running a clothes dryer than the average African uses in a year for all her energy needs.[2] A typical National Hanging Out Day event will make people aware of these startling facts. Handing out wooden clothespins, generating community discussion about simple ways to save energy, and providing basic information about local energy sources are the three central activities of most National Hanging Out Day events.

Laundry is used as a beautiful art form to attract public attention. Statistics and sentiments are often painted on T-shirts and pants to make the case for using a clothesline (e.g., “Hang Your Pants, Stop the Nuke Plants”).

Is your community dependent on large hydroelectric dams, nuclear plants, or fossil fuels? Celebrate and encourage the use of that glorious, big reactor in the sky—our Sun—by holding a National Hanging Out Day event in your community. Hanging out clothes in public places to make an environmental statement started in 1995 at Middlebury College, when students got together to mobilize, educate and energize other students.

Get Active

To involve yourself and community, contact Project Laundry List, send a contribution, and pass this description along to a friend. Register your local group as a supporter of National Hanging Out Day.

Martha Jensen of Logan, UtahMartha Jensen (and her mother , Mary Laine) of Logan, Utah. They hang paper clothes/baby clothes on the clothesline with all kinds of interesting facts promoting clotheslines. This year and last year Martha hung her clothesline at a local annual Bioneers conference and, also, at a local farmer’s market.