A quick word from our friends in Concord, who are using simple imagery to get their point across.

In Concord, NH, Project Laundry List has teamed up with a couple of other StepItUp07 events and combined our efforts into a picnic, walk, and rally. The rally, which will take place in front of the New Hampshire State House, will have a clothesline as a backdrop for the speakers. Speakers will include Doris Granny D Haddock; Sen. Harold Janeway; Rep. Suzanne Harvey (recipient of Governor’s Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award); a proclamation from US Rep. Paul Hodes; David Lamarre-Vincent, NH Council of Churches; Nancy Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm; representatives from Grappone Automotive Group and Sierra Club & Cool Cities Program; Richard Minard, NH Audubon; and Melissa Bernardin, Priorities NH. There will be live music and yogurt and ice cream.

Having grown up in a frugal Yankee household where the clothesline was always in use, where my mother soaked un-cancelled stamps off envelopes, saved bacon grease in a can on the stove, and made sure we turned lights out when we left a room, Project Laundry List was not that much of a leap for me. Project Laundry List uses words, images, and advocacy to educate people about how simple lifestyle modifications, including air-drying one’s clothes, reduce our dependence on environmentally and culturally costly energy sources.

Project Laundry List began over eleven years ago, in 1995, when I was a junior at Middlebury College. It was a year before I would drive to the Adirondacks to interview Bill McKibben for my thesis and a few months after Helen Caldicott, MD, gave a speech telling us we could shut down the nuclear industry if we just hung out our clothes and made other simple lifestyle changes. We are lucky to have had both of these people involved for so many years.

In 1995, I and many others around the Northeast in particular, but also David Brower of Sierra Club-fame and others, were in an absolute tizzy about the damming of rivers in Northern Quebec. I remain disturbed that people think of large-scale hydro as sustainable, even though it produces methane by flooding vast vegetated areas and it disturbs, in the case of James Bay, the nesting grounds of migratory birds and the traditional hunting grounds of indigenous tribes. Project Laundry List aimed to take a positive approach to change and challenge people to think about personal energy use.

National Hanging Out Day has been occurring almost as long as Project Laundry List has existed. It is always April 19th and we encourage communities to hang clotheslines out with sheets and T-shirts emblazoned with energy-saving messages: “STOP THE PLANTS, HANG YOUR PANTS.” This year, National Hanging Out Day comes just five days after the StepItUp07 activities. I hope you will get involved. Please visit our website at http://www.laundrylist.org and learn about the personal ways that you can help this nation meet meaningful carbon reduction goals.

You may also want to read the recent article “Hanging Out” in
The Globe & Mail. Our newsletter, also called Hanging Out, is being ramped up again. A “Right to Dry” bill was introduced in Vermont in 1998 and the language is included again in this year’s energy efficiency bill. Right now only Florida preserves solar rights for clotheslines. Fort Lauderdale even went so far as to declare National Hanging Out Day a holiday one year through mayoral proclamation. What will you do to make sure that you and your neighbors are not prohibited from hanging out your clothes?