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6 May 2007


Chores Living on a Kona coffee farm means there is always plenty of work to do.  Everybody does their share.  Our girls both have a list of chores they have to do.  Five or six chores per day.  Things like load the dishwasher, feed the chickens, water the baby coffee trees and clean their bedrooms.  Valerie made a similar list for herself to help spread out all of her chores evenly over the week.  Then the girls noticed that I don't have a list.  So they all got together and decided I should be in charge of doing the laundry.  I admit, I've been spoiled over the years.  Other than when traveling I have rarely done my own laundry.  It's not like I sit on the couch and watch football while Valerie does all the work, it's just that I'm not normally the one who does the laundry.  I do other important stuff like... um... well... I can't think of anything right now but I know I do stuff.

Washing the laundry is relatively easy: throw the clothes in the machine and press start.  It's drying them that takes time.  Our clothes dryer broke and when it did our electric bill dropped by over $150 per month.  Electricity in Hawaii isn't cheap.  Between wind, waves, solar and geothermal, there are plenty of ways Hawaii could produce abundant, cheap electricity.  Instead Hawaii imports tons of oil to burn for electricity.

In a way it's too bad electricity isn't even more expensive because then maybe we'd all care a little more about how much of the world's resources we use.  With 6.5 billion people on the planet even vast global resources such as petroleum reserves and the balance of atmospheric carbon dioxide can be affected if we're not careful.  So, being the tree-hugging hippies we are, and living in Hawaii with plenty of sunshine, and always wanting to pinch a penny whenever possible, it has become my job to wash the laundry then hang it on the line to dry.

It's not bad really.  Kona gets bright morning sun nearly every day.  Besides being great for the coffee trees, that morning sun also powers our solar water heater and helps the clean laundry dry quickly.  It's rather pleasant to stand in the warm morning sun and hang laundry.

I have to do the laundry in the mornings because we often get rain in the afternoons.  Sunny mornings with warm afternoon rains is one of the things that makes Kona coffee so great.  But the afternoon rains aren't so helpful for drying laundry.  Our laundry regularly gets a second or third rinsing.  On the positive side, those final rinsings are about as environmentally friendly as possible.

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