“You may have to get others on board with a sustainability decision, but usually they cope and adapt when you explain it.”

Eva Hanging Clothes on the line


Dublin 14



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435 kgs avoided CO2 per year: the equivalent of over 31 trees.

My personal sustainability action was

When the kids were born, I decided not to buy a dryer and see if I could manage without one: I could

Why did you make this change?

I decided I preferred the smell and feel of line dried clothes in the beginning, but I found out that not using a dryer was better for the environment and the family’s pocket.

The impact of the change

The impact was more that I could prove to myself and others it could be done without having to let it take over your life. Just fitting it into the day’s routine was enough (I have a job outside the home too). The odd day it’s a pain when there’s rain all day – but that doesn’t happen as often as you think. Sure, sometimes you get home and the washing is still not dry, but you can live with that once you’ve backup clothes – which doesn’t take that much organising. And in the worst of the winter the clothes horse comes out to finish the job without too much bother. The kids help out when they know (as they did after a while) that it’s better for the environment – energy-wise and in terms of less damaging to the clothes. So they know if they need it for a date of or the weekend they plan ahead a couple of days. One thing I did find was that line-dried clothes usually don’t need ironing so its Win Win!

Tips and advice for sustainability actions

You may have to get others on board with a sustainability decision, but usually they cope and adapt when you explain it.

Dryers are one of the most energy hungry appliances in the home – and the electricity they use often isn’t green, yet.

Eva reckoned she did laundry five times a week: which would be normal for a family with two children. We were able to calculate the energy use, the consequent carbon emissions, and the costs avoided by not having a clothes dryer.

For a typical vented dryer — for example the Indesit I1 D80S 8 kg — its energy consumption for a full load is 5.02 kWh.

With Eva’s 5 loads per week, this works out at 1,305.2 kWh/yr which would emit 435 kg CO2 [1]. This is the same amount of CO2 that would need 31 trees to offset. This is also approximately the same amount of CO2 emissions from taking two return flights from Dublin to London.

In terms of cost Eva probably saves herself €339.3 per year with electricity costing about €0.26/kWh. In the last 24 years this is the princely sum of €8,143.20 [2].


[1] In 2023 the carbon intensity of mains electricity was .333g CO2 per kWh. It has been dropping more or less steadily since 2000 and will continue to decline over time. The carbon intensity of electricity in 2000 was .619g CO2 per kWh, so Eva was having a very much larger positive environmental impact at the start.

[2] The price of electricity became very high in 2022-23 (as much as €0.40/kWh) but is starting to return to the average level of increase we have seen since 2000 when it was €.14/kWh. The €0.26 we use here to estimate Eva’s annual savings is based on the average price over the period 2000-2024 excluding the big increases of 2022. We feel that the figure we give for the whole period is fair bearing in mind general cost of living increases.

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