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Don't wash your clothes if they don't stink!

This is the very first 'idea of the month' so I don't want to blow it. It must be something that profoundly impacts the environment and something everyone can do. On the other hand, what fun is that?

So, what about this one. I have been to hundreds of websites and reviewed thousands of ideas. Most of them I bump into time and again. This one I have found only once - perhaps for good reason. However, before we laugh it off let's explore.

Just what is the environmental impact of washing clothes? If you research a little you will find that the impact on the environment is substantial not to mention the impact on your own personal budget. The electricity to power the appliances and heat the water, the amount of water expended, the carbon dioxide emissions, and the damage of detergents to the environment are matters of consequence.

What is the economic impact of washing my clothes over and over again? Hey guys! Not only is washing and drying your clothes tough on your budget (22% of your utility costs) but really tough on your clothes. Think this one through. You've got some nice stuff. Make them last.

Can I really get away with wearing clothes till they stink? I know in our century we must all smell pretty, but remember that in centuries past people pretty much stank and didn't seem to mind. That was probably because deodorants and shower stalls were in short supply. When my son was a teenager he would simply push his pants to the floor and step out of them. The next day he'd step back in the two holes, pull them back up and head off to school. I think most of his friends did the same. So you see it does work for some people.

One problem I have is that I'm an old guy and my 'smeller' doesn't work so well any more. I don't know if I can rely on my wife for the same reason, and I don't think we want to sniff each others clothes every day. I thought about training my dog to do it. After all, dogs have great noses. He would lie on the floor and put his paws over his nose if they smell rotten and wag his tail while panting happily if I can wear them again. The problem with this approach is the cost of training and the fact that I don't own a dog.

Maybe one day they'll invent a "sniff-o-meter". Until that time I will probably pass on this idea but that doesn't mean it isn't perfect for those of you with younger noses.

If you can make this work more power to you. The Environment and your pocketbook will thank you.

Bob Kihslinger


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