by Sadge, at Firesign Farm
Do what you can, when you can. That's my sustainable living mantra. The past couple of months, I've been fretting because I've had to resort to using my clothes dryer. I prefer hanging my clothes outside to dry, but the weather's been too cold and snowy most of the time. I have a little folding dryer rack I can set inside the bathtub, or in front of the wood stove. But since I'm working in an accountant's office until after Tax Day, plus trying to get a new fund-raising event organized within the same time period, I'm feeling a bit stressed for time quite often. I just don't feel like taking the extra time out of my day to load up that rack, and move it from place to place for the couple of days it takes to dry each load. I still only wash two to three small loads of clothes each week, but I just want to get them dried and put away quickly.
So, for now, I'm choosing to use the electric dryer. And, for the time I'm saving to do so, I'm also choosing to continue cooking our meals from scratch instead of using convenience foods, and take care of my stress levels by getting out for a daily walk with the dog. Both Tax season and the fund-raiser will be done the weekend of April 15th. By then, the weather should be nicer and I can get back outside with the laundry. I just keep telling myself that, in my case, sustainability is not and all-or-nothing type thing. Just do what you can, when you can.
During the 10 years I lived above 10,000 feet, I couldn't grow warm-season veggies such as tomatoes or peppers. But for our three months of "summer", I could grow short-season, cool-weather things like peas and lettuce. So I grew what I could, within the constraints of the climate.
Before I salvaged an old sewing machine from a burned-out trailer, I had a needle, thread, and pair of scissors. I did my sewing and mending by hand. Just do what you can, with what you have at the time.
And sometimes, you'll find, that you really don't need some things. Having a clothes dryer is nice for right now, but I don't mind the time it takes to wash my dishes by hand. I've never had a dishwasher, but then again, don't feel like it's something I need, either. It all just comes down to making your own choices for where you are right now. And as the days get longer and warmer, I know I'll feel like getting back out to my clothesline.