A week or so ago, I reminded everyone that we’d be snapping
off the main circuit breaker in the apartment and plunging ourselves into
nighttime darkness. I asked for people to send in hints about how they handled
chores with no electricity. A woman named Allie emailed me about how she did
her laundry while working at a boarding school in
“My laundry routine took awhile to perfect, but eventually I came upon a system that worked well. I would put everything in the tub and soak the clothes with a little bit of detergent (soaking *really* helps get things clean) and then I'd put on shorts and step into the tub and stomp through the clothes (grape-crushing style) until I thought everything had been agitated enough to be clean.”
People sent me about a dozen other methods including using a plunger to stir up the clothes in the bath, but you know the logic about why you shouldn’t let a dog lick your face because you don’t know where it’s tongue has been? That’s the way I feel about using a plunger to clean my clothes. Besides, Allie’s method seemed like a lot more fun.
I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Isabella was first to join (she’s begun earning her rent at last!). Then she starting shouting “Come on, Mommy, we a doing a laundry.” Before long Michelle was in on the act and I got to go back to reading my book while I left them to it. Just joking! We all jumped up and down on the clothes and had a riot (sorry that the picture isn’t better).
For the Virgos among you who want to know the technical details—and Virgos are the best people on the planet, by the way—I threw a quarter cup of castile soap and a half a cup of borax in the wash to clean the clothes. PS The electricity doesn't go off until a week from Saturday. We were just testing the system.
By the way, maybe because we tossed out the TV, I had no idea that the “free hug” thing that I mentioned in Friday’s post had become a virtual world movement. My friend Gary sent me this video. In its own way, it’s individual action activism just like No Impact Man. I dig it. Watch it. If it doesn't make you feel like humanity is worth saving, I don't know what would.
Lastly, the Ottawa Citizen carried a piece about the No Impact experiment on Sunday. You can read it here.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.