my brother emailed me today to see how no-dryer july was going. it's going good, by the way. jeremy installed a new clothesline which is 3x longer than the old one. which means, instead of pinning clothes on top of each other, i can now fit about 2 loads of laundry on the line at once. much more convenient. it's a bit farther away (the old one was right outside the back door, on the deck) but the added length is worth it. it's also in a very windy spot in the yard. did you know wind removes wrinkles??? had i known this, i would have been hanging things out a long time ago. wind, of course, also speeds the drying process. the only downside to this new clothesline is that it crosses over the lawn. which means i can't leave clothes out overnight, or the sprinklers will get them wet again in the morning. but i try to bring the clothes in at night anyway, b/c of the bugs.
my brother nick has decided to do a "no-drive august." this includes not only driving but riding in a car at all. i'm super impressed! granted, he lives in near a college town, so there are shops within a short distance from his home. he can also bike to work, which he often does anyway. but going a month without riding in a car... that's a big commitment. i hope he can stick it through. and i hope that he can write a little something about his experience for the blog!
nick's idea makes me wonder how i can lower my own driving. unlike my brother, i do not live close to very many shops. i could walk to a few places, including a (crappy) grocery store, but not the trader joes where i hope to do the bulk of my shopping. the farmer's market is a bit of a trek as well, especially with a baby. because of gas prices, i already try to consolidate my trips when i'm out. for instance, that fabric store trip i'm taking later in the week was born out of the fact that i'm meeting up with a very wonderful friend (hi laura!) for dinner. the restaurant we're meeting at happens to be very near the shop.
all i can think of in terms of reduction would be to have one day a week where i don't drive (or ride) anywhere. speaking of which, i didn't go anywhere today, except for a walk with lucy and the dog. perhaps wednesdays are a good "no-drive" day... i've already got one under my belt!
i hate the fact that, based on where i live, i pretty much have to drive if i want to go anywhere. the problem partially stems from the fact that everything is just... spread out. smeared across hills and valleys. this is a huge downside of suburbia... it's all big chunks of housing, interspersed with strip malls and halfhearted shopping centers. which makes it hard to go one place and find everything you need... groceries, banking, drugstore, coffee, etc. even if you can find this, (like a quaint little downtown or something) it's likely that the area is too far from your home to get there by any means other than a car. no wonder lots of people shop at supercenters like walmart. it's one-stop. wham-bam. i don't shop at walmart, but i understand why people do. the fact that the public transportation system in the area is majorly lacking only exacerbates the issue.
so, in august, i'll be committing to some form of reduced driving, in support of my brother. just how i'm going to work it out remains to be seen. i'll keep ya posted though. no worries.