Urban Fold

The Fight to Line Dry

Now that the eco-friendlier--albeit more unsightly--way to dry laundry is making a comeback, line-drying activists go face-to-face with homeowners associations to make it safe to do it.

"A 2001 Department of Energy report estimated that electric clothes dryers accounted for about 5.8% of total electricity usage in U.S. homes -- a startling figure given that the same report said all indoor and outdoor lighting in American homes constitutes only 8.8% of electricity usage. Plus, the 5.8% attributed to dryers does not include electricity needed to power the motors of gas-heated dryers.

Still, some people see nothing purposeful or poetic in the image of clean sheets blowing in the wind.

'Homeowner associations recognize that if people throw their clothes over their fences and patio walls that their homes won't be as aesthetically attractive,' said Richard S. Monson, president of the California Assn. of Homeowners Assns. 'We're criticized for this, but what it's doing is protecting home values.'

It's not just the beige-on-approved-beige gated communities that often prohibit line-drying. Homeowner associations at retirement communities, mobile home parks and condos often prohibit the practice. Elleven, Los Angeles' first condo building to receive the U.S. Green Building Council's gold LEED rating for environmentally conscious design, has sustainable bamboo flooring -- but line-drying? That's still strictly verboten, building manager Matthew Davidson said."

Full Story: Is your clothesline illegal?



Saving the Planet the Old-Fashioned Way

I have zero respect for people who stand in the way of those who want to help the environment and/or save money by air-drying their clothes.

It's elitist, it's myopic, and it's unacceptable given that we are facing a climate crisis caused by the use of polluting fuels.

It seems like too many of us are more concerned about "looking poor" and possibly losing a bit of property value because equally myopic people look down their noses at the practice, than doing what's right.

Besides, the sight of clothes on a line is beautiful. The winds of change are blowing. They can and should be drying your clothes.

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