{a preview of our laundry set up, 3-year-old style}

I was going to share our electricity-free laundry set up, but first I thought I would address a comment that mimics a few other questions I have gotten. This question and others are also addressed eloquently in Surviving Off Off-Grid, by the way.


I enjoy reading your website but am wondering why would you wash clothes by hand? God gave man a creative brain, and using something to make your time more effective for God’s glory is not a bad thing. The time you spend washing clothes by hand could be used to serve others. Do you see every human invention that takes technology as evil? Why don’t you like electricity?

We do not believe that human invention, technology, wealth, or electricity are inherently evil. Nor do we believe that every time one uses an electric washing machine they are sinning. What does concern us is the spiritual, physical, and emotional cost that are inherent in some of these things.

Our goal in learning to live without electricity is not to spend every waking hour in arduous manual labor, but is rather the means to a much more important end.

It facilitates some of our family’s top goals, like…

  1. Not relying on food, goods, or conveniences that can only be had with (artificially) cheap energy.
  2. Living a simple, sustainable agrarian lifestyle, debt-free. (It’s funny how many of the things we have come to rely on in our post-industrial society can only be had if a). you have a good bit of money up front, b). you are willing to go into debt, or c). you are willing to leave your family every single day of your life for 30 years in order to achieve a or b.)
  3. Living in accordance with God’s will and creation.
  4. Having both mama and papa as the primary teachers and caregivers of our children.
  5. Knowing how to actually do things of value so that we can teach them to our children.

That last one is something Chandelle said better than I ever could…

To me, this is the fundamental issue at stake when considering the impending collapse of this global empire. None of us in the homo consumptus species have even the absolute most basic skills of survival. We don’t know how to grow food – and I don’t mean non-native tomatoes in pots, that we use to decorate the arugula we buy from Whole Foods, I mean real food, calorically- and nutrient-dense, enough to keep us from starving. We don’t know how to walk into the hills and find medicine we need to stop infection or dry up diarrhea or prevent a postpartum bleed. We don’t know how to shoot a rabbit, or skin it, how to make something warm from that skin. We don’t know sh$t.

Her post is aptly titled "Diminishing Necessities" – two words that sum up the entire means to our greater end goal.

Next time I will share how we’re learning to wash laundry without an electric washing machine.