Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hushing the Household Buzz

One of the biggest contributors to household stress is noise. Our homes have just become too noisy. Several years ago our dishwasher broke down. Fatally. We did not have money to replace it and I told my husband I would see how I could get on without instead of worrying about how to replace it. The first thing I noticed was how quiet it was after supper without the noise of that contraption. Secondly I noticed that it didn’t take me any longer to wash the dishes by hand than it did to scrape them, rinse them, load them into the washer, fill the soap dispenser, unload the dishwasher and wash by hand the one or two items that just didn’t come clean. Over the next several years I discovered many noise making, stress causing, energy suckers that we could and do live without. Ironically, many of these items are marketed by the masterminds in advertising as time saving, cannot LIVE without items:
  • Dishwasher – getting rid of this item can lower your electric bill, lower your water consumption (especially if you use the gray water from your dishes to water your garden), and contribute to the peace of your home.
  • Clothes dryer – getting rid of your dryer will lower your electric bill drastically. Clothes can be line dried in the summer and dried on racks within the home in the winter. You will also save water as you will be more discriminating in washing only things that are truly dirty if you KNOW you will have to take the care to dry the items. Having your children help hang the clothes to dry drastically reduces the amount of clean clothes that wind up on the floor or in the laundry. Forget the fabric softener too, its mostly chemicals that the water supply can do without. Instead fill your softener dispenser with vinegar. That’s right, plain old cheap white vinegar. This deodorizes clothing, and reduces the “stiffness” of line dried clothes.
  • Video games and toys with batteries. If it can play by itself then we don’t need it. Interaction and creativity are superior toys.
  • Microwave oven – the safety of these things are debatable in many ways. And it hums. And bings. Those are contenders for the most annoying noises in the world.
The other night I heard the spring peepers down by the river calling for their mates. Years ago this would have been drowned out by the dryer, the dishwasher, and *hum-bing* of my tea water being heated in the microwave.

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