Thursday, September 13, 2007

Help Earth by Going Naked

Being an environmentalist and a nudist (or, in better terms, a 'smart person'), I feel that I need to comment on the blog post "How Nudism Can Save You Money." More specifically, I'd like to elaborate on Nathan's "Laundry", "Cooling Down", and "Stuff" sections. Everything in his writeup is pretty good and accurate information -- plus he even cites some sources! Make sure to read it before continuing with this post... It is my intent to fill in some of his gaps with a few numbers.

Nathan says that nudists have less of a wardrobe, which I don't agree with. A nudist can have a lot of clothing to choose from, and it doesn't affect the amount of laundry that they do. Clothing doesn't really save any money for nudists, since we still need a full wardrobe for going out into the textiler world. If the world were nudist friendly, then perhaps we would buy less clothes.

More importantly, he says that nudists do less laundry. Why? I believe the reason is because it breaks a logical cycle. Humans love to keep things in simple numbers. Rent is $450 a month -- never $437.58. We don't listen to the Weekly Top 42. "1" makes a nice round number. If we've worn our clothing for 1 day (1 awake-cycle), it must be dirty, and since we're taking it off anyway it's easy to toss it in the hamper. Nudists break this by observing that the clothing was worn for only a few hours, instead of 1 day. Is it still clean? Wear it for another few hours... It might take a good 37 hours of wear before it's considered dirty. A textiler would rarely consider putting on yesterday's clothes, which makes for 7 sets of clothes to wash in a week -- at least a full load. A home nudist might only need to do a single full load of laundry every three weeks, as-is the case with me.

Since 5% of residential energy use is in washing (and drying) clothes, taking out 2/3 of that would be fairly substantial. You could take out even more than that if you skip the dryer and hang the clothes outside...but don't scare the neighbors. It seems fair to say that a person could knock off 3% of their utility bill by going nude more often. If everyone in the US did this, it would reduce our total energy consumption by 0.63% and save 12,600,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere. (Plus quite a few soap chemicals, and less demand for soap, causing a reduction in energy use for soap production and shipping...)

Cooling Down:
Nathan doesn't provide much detail in this section -- so I will! We save about 2% per degree for turning the thermostat up in our air conditioned residence. Wearing clothes, I am comfortable at about 75 degrees. Nude, I'm comfortable up to 80 degrees (or more with a fan). That would amount to a 10% reduction of my electric bill by being nude and comfortable. (Logically though, why would someone crank down the AC and then wear clothing that keeps them warm? It just doesn't make sense...) A 10% reduction of all US residential electric bills (2.1% over-all US energy reduction) would save another 42,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

In one year, it would take 6,006,000,000 tree in order to offset that much carbon dioxide. The textilers had better get planting!

Although nudity isn't involved, I should comment on the other more significant residential energy use. (You're all smart people, so I know you'll listen!)
  • Space heating -- wear clothes, set the thermostat low, and consider an efficient heater like one that is water-based. Green building design also works great for heating efficiency. Seal the place up, and don't use the fireplace or bathroom vents unless needed. (They suck the heat right out of your house!)
  • Water heating -- Use a solar pre-heater or on-demand heaters like the InSinkErator.
  • Lighting -- Use fluorescent in higher-traffic areas, it'll pay for itself in about a year.
There's plenty more ideas at the WorldChanging site. (Read those whenever you have time -- you'll be glad you did.) Now...back to Nathan's post.

I'm not really sure where Nathan was going with his paragraph on 'stuff'. Nudists like to collect stuff too, like cars and boats. His argument is convincing, but it may not be correct. Many camps that have somewhat permanent residents seem to have the same sort of competition, but on a smaller scale. They like to have the newest / biggest campers, and the fanciest golf carts. The 'in' thing is having an electric golf cart. One person I met even added a sound system to theirs, and another was contemplating a custom-made steering wheel. Nudists may not be as class-conscious, but they still like their stuff!