I'm sure you agree that we live in a beautiful corner of the world and I hope that you enjoy as much as I do the natural environment of our community, the wild hillside running down to the bay, the animals and birds, the trees and wildflowers, our beach, and the spectacular views of the bay. So why do we have a restriction in our residents' association covenant that is harmful to the environment and forces us to use more energy than is necessary and, in doing so, to contribute to the global warming crisis?
I refer, of course, to the prohibition on drying our laundry outside the natural way by hanging it on a clothes line. Did you know that clothes dryers are responsible for 5-10% of residential electricity usage, not to mention that clothes dryer fires account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually?
A recent article in the Providence Journal says...
Ever since dryer sheets took the place of the summer breeze, clotheslines seemed to have gone the way of the porch radio — quaint traditions of previous generations, now confined to black and white photos and period films.
But a recent movement has tied the clothesline to one of today’s most pressing issues and, quite possibly, made the line a hip place for clothes to dry. Members of “Right to Dry” groups, popping up nationwide, are touting the clothesline as an easy way to go green: It cuts the need for energy-gobbling electric dryers.
“This is a novel approach to environmental activism because almost everybody has to do laundry,” said Alexander Lee, executive director of Project Laundry List, a New Hampshire-based clothesline rights group. “We have found a way to get in the hearts and minds of every American, even if they think what we do is crazy.”
Project Laundry List advocates for legislation that would override neighborhood organization prohibitions against clotheslines and leave it up to each household to determine its drying method.
The folk at Project Laundry List are to be congratulated on their campaign to allow us all to take this simple step to save money and energy, and surely it's only a matter of time before our state implements a "Right to Dry" law that would override our neighborhood prohibition against clothes lines anyway. But why wait? April 19th is National Hanging Out Day. Please join me in a mass act of civil disobedience to this ridiculous rule by hanging your washing on the line next Saturday.
After all, as Benjamin Franklin said, "We must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately."