Sometimes forgotten by the swish sustainable magazines is the continued value of the humble clothesline. Though, admittedly, it does take a bit longer to 'load', the drying is then dollar and carbon free, and arguably, the addition of UV in the sunlight that kills any little bugs, means your clothes are cleaner.
With a bit of ingenuity, clothesline can also be used as an evaporative cooler for your house if cleverly put into the summer breeze path. See the Marion House and Penola 1 for good expamples. A perspex roof over is recommended so that the clothesline can be used year round.
If however you must have a drier, the one you choose matters. As always, the higher the stars the better when buying a major appliance. The Australia Government website www.energyrating.gov.au/calculator allows you to work out how much a prospective drier will cost you and the planet. Below it has modeled a 2 star and 10 star 7kg dryer, used 3 times a week. Not only does the 10 star dryer save you an impressive $2000 over a ten year lifespan, but it will also mean less CO2 produced. Converting the yearly kilowatt hours (Kwh) used below to carbon dioxide produced (1Kwh = 1.4kg CO2 in Victoria), the 10 star drier created 361kg CO2 each year though its energy use, and the 2 star dryer a whopping 1323kg CO2 or 1.3 tonnes each year!
Of course, the humble clothesline cleans the floor with both of them, producing nothing but dry clothes - and it doesnt even have a star rating!