Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dear Neighbors

Dear Neighbors,

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."


Shopping City Chaplaincy said...

Good on yer Tillerman!

We gave up using our Clothes dryer over a year ago and we only use a dish washer when the Kids our home from uni. Its cheeper and green.

If any one country needs to wake up to using less energy then America is certainly that one.

Anonymous said...

Right on Tim. I'm waiting to see what the three major candidates in the presidential election have to say about the Right to Dry.

JP said...

Good one tillerman!

I never use my dryer - why spend money + generate CO2 when you can just hang washing out and it will dry for free?

Though I do it indoors only (hanging out the drying that is)

Anonymous said...

That's strange. I searched everywhere on the Clinton, Obama and McCain campaign websites and I can't find anything about their positions on Right to Dry. Maybe it will come up in the debates?

moonstruck said...

Found you thru frogma. Unfortunately in Stormville any wash hung out after thanksgiving would be frozen till April. Washing dishes in the sink uses way more hot water and detergent than waiting till the dishwasher is full. I heat my house with wood from my own wood lot.


Dennis G

moonstruck said...

Long time member of Chelsea Yacht Club

We hosted the Empire State Games Laser championship races 2 or three years ago.

I race an ancient Oday 23 every Sunday all Summer. Sometimes I even win.


Dennis G

Mal Kiely [Lancelots Pram] said...

we have a dishwasher here, but seriously only use it like 3 times a year, just to keep it 'rinsed'. I've only ever once lived somewhere with a clothesdryer... even then I've *always* thought air drying was much better and fresher for your clothes and stuff. always. So yeah, I agree with you 100%.

Mind you, we don't get many sub-zero temperatures over here over winter (a few, not not many), so air drying is just an Aussie tradition.

It's not as tho you can put your new Laser sail into a dryer either, huh? [giggles]

Mal :)

Tillerman said...

Right Mal. Nor can I put my neoprene hiking pants and boots, or my PFD in the dryer. So they dry outside whatever the neighbors say.

moonstruck said...

sturgeonI ironed some old sail cloth scraps to make some patches. Bad idea!!! Sail cloth melts. My sails are original North Sails. 1978. Guess I will have to get the checkbook out soon. I had Tasker make some sails for my last boat. Liked the main, hated the 130 genny. But the price was right.

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