Pages

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Right To Dry

...air dry that is - your clothes on a clothesline.

It was only recently I learned that it is actually illegal in some places for a person to hang their clothes out on a clothesline. Really. Here’s a video from CBS Sunday Morning. Here’s an article from the New York Times and another from the Baltimore Sun. It’s not just here in the United States. It’s also an issue in Australia and other countries.

When we moved to this house, it had a clothesline outside. But it was about as far away from the laundry room as it could possibly be. The few times I used it, I hated finding bird poop on my freshly laundered clothes and linens. So at some point, Chuck strung a laundry line on our screened front porch. Plenty of fresh air, a fair amount of sunshine, no worries about rain and there was no more risk of surprise splats! But even with that convenience it still took our dryer going on the fritz to get me into the swing of things with hanging laundry. Now I really enjoy it. Chuck put up a total of three sort of zig-zag lines which is just the right number of line feet for a washing machine load’s worth of laundry.

: : If you’d like to learn more about line drying - the practical, the environmental and the political check out Project Laundry List.
: : If you’re part of the Twitterverse, you can follow Project Laundry List on Twitter.
: : For inspiration go to LineDry.
: : And if you’d like to sign a petition to get the White House to bring back their clotheslines, you can go to Right2Dry.org. Mrs. Obama has been doing a great job with the White House vegetable garden. Why not have an environmentally friendly clothesline nearby?

8 comments:

dancingmorganmouse said...

We have never owned a dryer, my parents didn't own one until long after I left home and then refused to use it because it burned up so much electricity.
There is nothing quite so lovely as going to bed with clean, fresh sheets all smelling of sunshine.
I used to have a lavender hedge I'd dry my pillowslips on, I must find room to plant another, it was quite wonderful.

dancingmorganmouse said...

We don't own a dishwasher either, so we are practically cavemen really!

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Your description of the lavender hedge makes laundering sound like a vacation in Provence!

For as long as I can remember, my parents had both a washing machine and a dryer. But I do have a memory of my mother using the clothesline from time to time.

When I went off to college, I used the washers and dryers in the dorm to do my laundry. After college, it was laundromats. I so hated saving quarters, lugging laundry off, sitting under harsh fluorescent lights and trying to get clean clothes and linens safely home in all kinds of weather. When we moved here, I was thrilled to have a laundry room right off the kitchen. It was wonderfully convenient. That's probably what took me so long to come round to line drying!

We still use the dryer, but we use it very differently; much more efficiently. As for the dishwasher, well, I'm happy to accept the data which shows that as long as you only run it when it's full and don't pre-hand wash the dishes, they are quite environmentally friendly!
;o)
- Lee

Meg Runs said...

I just read you reply to dancingmorganmouse...and I was going to say that I have the best memories of my mom hanging our clothes out on the clothes line. I couldn't wait to put on my "crunchy" clothes...they felt so stiff and clean!
Our dish washer just broke and we haven't missed it a bit!
Nice visiting your blog! I love your blog name...

dancingmorganmouse said...

Lee, I suspect owning a dishwasher would just lead to our arguing about who's turn it was to empty it, just like growing up :)

Sue said...

Oh my word, I can't believe that! Here, the only reason some people don't hang washing on lines outside is because they're scared it's gonna get nicked! There's nothing like fresh sun-kissed and wind swept linen to snuggle into!

Irene said...

There are certain things that just come out better when line dried. :)

We had an awful electric dryer (that took forever to dry clothes) in a rental house, but it also had a clothesline in the backyard. It came in really handy when I didn't feel like waiting on the dryer. We didn't have a dishwasher in that house, either, unless you count my husband...

Pink Granite said...

Hi Meg -
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!
Line dried clothes do smell super fresh don't they?
Some of the "crunchy" clothes end up feeling ironed - a big plus. And for the ones I wish felt a little softer, I find just snapping and wiggling them a bit loosens them up quite a bit.
;o)
- Lee

Hi DMM -
Chuck is a master at loading a dishwasher and terrifies me when he loads a huge armful of clean glasses up to carry into the dining room closet! We've divided things up so that generally I cook and he cleans - therefore no drama!
;o)
- Lee

Hi Sue -
When I lived in Vermont, a friend was constantly having clothes stolen off the line. It lasted one summer and stopped. I always wondered what the family would do if they saw some other people wearing their clothes!
;o)
- Lee

Hi Irene -
Thank heavens for husbands who happily take up the dishwashing chore! I remain grateful I have the option of using the dryer. But I have come to enjoy the quiet, meditative quality of hanging clothes.
;o)
- Lee