Last weekend I took a break from the list of DIY projects to watch someone else make something. We headed down to Albuquerque to experience the Albuquerque Mini Maker Faire. After several years of reading Make: magazine it was time to attend a gathering of this very geeky tribe. Up until we arrived I was unsure of whether the Maker Faire would be worth the hassle of loading up the family for a two-hour round trip. Well, I think we've found our people.
I hate to throw away "perfectly good" things even when they're a bit scruffy. Case in point, my road bike. I bought this bike from a friend many years ago and have put quite a few miles on it. After a couple of years I re-painted it and replaced some worn parts. Well, after a decade or so of riding it desperately needed another overhaul. Now I have a friend with powdercoating equipment and I've restored the bike to better than ever.
The more I learn about conservation and frugality, the more I re-discover what my grandparents knew. In this case it's darning. I vastly prefer the warmth and comfort of wool socks, glove liners and sweaters to cotton and most synthetics. Those same wool garments (especially socks) consistently wear out in the same places. Instead of throwing out mostly-good wool socks I've started darning (mending) them and extending their useful life.
I'll admit it, I love my clothes line ... when it's warm out. But, in the middle of winter when the high temperature for the day stays below freezing heading outside to hang wet jeans on the line is a bit tough. Yes, I could set up an inside clothes line or rack. But I've found another option, I can use my clothes dryer to heat and humidify the house.
This idea is so simple that it didn't occur to me until I moved in to my current house. I had used a clothes dryer for years out of habit and inertia until I moved into a home with a clothes line. After buying a package of clothes pins I was ready to dry my clothing the simplest, cheapest and best way I have found yet. Of course, my grandmother has been drying clothes on the line since before I was born, but some things are rediscovered by each generation.
The advantages to line drying clothing are straightforward and numerous.