Dirty Clothes

You know, I’ve seen it said various places that a simple way to be good to the environment -not to mention your wallet – is to wear clothes more then once before washing. You save on water (and detergent and electricity) and your clothes wear out more slowly.

Now, I do this with pants, largely because they don’t typically get that dirty and because they take up a lot of space. To wit, I have easily three times as many shirts as pants (including shorts), yet my shirts and pants take up the same amount of space. So I’ve found that usually it makes no difference to anyone if I wear pants two days straight.

However, people who are hardcore about this would encourage you to go further. Pants, I imagine, are good for a few days. Shirts a few. Underwear a couple. Actually, underwear is why I was thinking about this today. Yesterday, Moi and I were joking that her little sister, who has yet to learn to do laundry, would have to take 15 pairs of panties to school and come back every month to do laundry at home. To make up the difference, we said she could wear them inside out.

As i was doing laundry today though, and looking at my boxers, I started wondering if maybe there was something to it. Call me crazy, but most of them don’t look dirty.  Sure, there were a few days I was working outside and they got sweaty. Ew. But I usually try to wear dirty clothes if I’m going to be doing that anyway. So what about everything else?

I’m not quite sure why there is the cultural stigma against it. Honestly, I find it hard to believe that my boxers from yesterday are dirtier then my butt (and yours – if you genuinely believe toilet paper makes your butt that clean you are either delusional or a better wiper then I). Or maybe my unbelievably poor sense of smell means I am missing a few big dirtiness clues everyone else is getting. Or maybe we should all follow the rule that if it look clean, feels clean, smells clean, it’s as good as clean. I’m sure it would be the same as taking several million cars of the road, or some other helpful carbon-emissions metaphor.

Still, I’m not quite sure I’m ready for it. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick to keeping my showers on low, which saves water and is more like what I got used to at college anyway.


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