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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The green kitchen. Tumble ye not; Food & Drink.(Features).

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Having just turned on the central heating, I know this is probably the wrong time of year to return to the subject of air-drying laundry. The tumble dryer sits there, tempting you with its speed and ease of use. But this is one time to disagree with Oscar Wilde, who said that he could "resist anything, except temptation".

You should resist temptation for financial reasons alone. Personal case study: if we hadn't switched to a mixed air-and-tumble economy, my five-person household would spend between Pounds 60 and Pounds 90 per annum on the tumble dryer. And our dryer is at the saintlier end of the energy-efficiency scale.

Indoor air-drying is a minor pain in the neck, but that's no excuse for not doing it. Select the best space (maybe not where the washing machine is), and then get yourself a good drying rack. Lakeland (www.lakeland.co.uk) sells one of the best selections I've seen, and I recommend a look at items 21770 and 21477.

Air-drying is the method of choice for the Green Kitchen, since kitchen laundry is, by definition, quickly dealt with. Tea towels, microfibre cloths, kitchen rags, cloth napkins - these don't need to dry quickly as long as you have enough of them. Unlike the pair of jeans that your daughter discovers (at 11pm) she has to wear to school tomorrow.

When you separate the urgent and the inessential, you can cut a lot of tumble time from your electricity bill. At my house, we now run the dryer (when we run it at all) for around 25 minutes as opposed to the 50-60 minutes needed for a full load.

Where drying racks are concerned, there's a halfway option: heated airers, which use a fraction of the electricity needed by a tumble dryer. I have used none, but have heard good things about one sold by Lakeland (product code 21736) and Easylife (www.easylifegroup.com), product code 2381. They may make it easier to resist the temptation to tumble.

greenkitchen@thetimes.co.uk

Copyright (C) The Times, 2008

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Photograph by PHOTOLIBRARY.COM

Source Citation:"The green kitchen. Tumble ye not; Food & Drink.(Features)." The Times (London, England) (Nov 8, 2008): 92. Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 23 Sept. 2009
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