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Energy-Conscious Homeowners Hung Out to Dry

People across the world are again drying their clothes on clothes lines, as a way to cut energy costs and contribute to conservation. According to the New York Times, some of these savvy washers are finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Places like Ontario, Canada, still ban clotheslines, which can be an eyesore in affluent communities. When families purchase their homes, the restriction is attached to their deeds, as a result of long-standing neighborhood covenants. (In fact, my lease bans me from hanging clothes outside!) But, the aesthetic security is not doing much for environmental or financial security.

No one has figured out a way to make machine clothes dryers more energy efficient. In the meantime, bans on outdoor drying are common in Europe and North America as a way to preserve the quality of neighborhoods. This is quite the dilemma for residents who want a clear green conscience, but aren't exactly prepared to see property values slide.

Are you re-evaluating your drying habits? Would you participate in this act of civil disobedience, if it meant saving money and the planet? Are you prepared to stare at your neighbors underwear drying in the wind?


Join The Conversation
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
That's what my family always did at our house. We lived in the country. It was such a pain because the weather is so unpredictable. You might've just hung out the clothes an hour ago and suddenly it starts to rain out of nowhere. I've had so many nightmares of getting sucked up in a tornado while trying to run out to the clothesline to get the clothes in. Haha. hypnoticmix makes a good point that this used to be the norm everywhere. Everybody had to hang out their clothes at one point. But now it's considered some sort of blight on the neighborhood?! I suspect this "aesthetic security" nonsense is straight up classism.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Hey tdamji! It was just in the news today, so now you have the latest updates on the issue! :)
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
not much to add, but just wanted to say that this is the 3rd time i've read about this issue on teamsugar: twice on Casasugar and now here...but i'm sure there have been other posts, too.
Meike Meike 9 years
Heh, that's how we do it in Japan. At least, the lesser metro areas.
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
In the summer I hang my clothes out in the backyard, although I do hang my bras inside. I live right next to a busy baseball field and those little league'ers don't need to see that.
KadBunny KadBunny 9 years
LOL hypnoticmix. I wouldn't blame them either, my undergarments are adorable. ;p I just wish it wasn't so smoggy out here, I swear; walk outside for one minute and your hair REEKS of smog. Imagine what it'd do to your panties. High-five for doing it the hard way shopaholic :D
katie_c katie_c 9 years
my mother's parents hung almost all their laundry. my mom hangs quite a bit of hers as well. thus i too hang most of mine--though it's mostly inside. i'm all for clotheslines. sure, they may not be that pretty to the eye but their better for the environment and even help your clothes last longer.
redegg redegg 9 years
I've always hung half my clothes and dried half of them. I have no place to hang them outside. I won't ever give up drying clothes completely unless it becomes outlawed. Then maybe I will rebel. If I lived out in the country or had a lot of land I might hang everything but it all becomes misshaped.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I NEVER put my tops or pants in the dryer. Mostly it is because I like the way they look before they shrink, but also for the environment and money saving reasons.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
lol lainetm good point. I guess here too if we had days like we did yesterday with the high winds (gusts up to 50 mph) mix that with the sand that's whipping around... probalby not the best day to hang out your clothes. But it would be nice to have the option of either hanging them outdoors or using the dryer. I honestly don't remember what our deed restrictions say about clothes lines but I'm pretty sure they are banned in our neighborhood... but it might be time to readdress it.
stephley stephley 9 years
Oh yeah, my mom used to get so mad when we'd leave hand prints on her clean clothes but I loved wrapping the sheets around myself.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I don't have the time to spend hanging out laundry. Besides, in LA, I'd just have to rewash it again, anyway....
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
home plots are so small these days and getting smaller that who even has room to hang out their clothes anymore? I would love to hang my clothes out to dry - in this desert heat I imagine that by the time I hung the last piece of clothing up it would be time to start taking them back down - not just cheaper than my gas dryer - but faster too lol.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
Stephley, did you ever go out and play when the bed sheets were drying? We had two or three rows of clothesline, so when the sheets were hung it was like having sheet forts.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
My neighborhood is one of those obnoxious places that has it written in the deed that we can not use clothes lines. I still break the rules sometimes.
stephley stephley 9 years
We were five kids and my mom hung the clothes - it could save large families money, but can be a misery for the designated hanger's back.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
My wife wants to dry the clothes on the line, but when she does, my allergies flare up.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
35mm is the BEST!
kia kia 9 years
I line dry outdoors a good deal but have not lived in places with restrictions. I don't know how practical line drying indoors is for large families but it can be done in small doses depending on your space.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
i travel so much syako, and have a huge smelly dog. Febreeze is my friend! Sometimes I spray the dog as she walks by.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
that's one of my goals Jude, is to put all those 57 rolls of film I took on digital somehow. boy, is that going to be a job! but I might start with those cool ones, because I think they would make a great exhibit all by themselves. and it's funny, i took them all with this crappy doo little 35mm camera. nothing special at all.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
I started hanging my clothes -- inside, due to high power bills -- and then the dryer belt broke -- so I have a good reason to hang. However, I can hang indoors or out as I live in a small town in the country and lots of people hang clothes out here. SAVES MONEY on the Power Bill. In Italy, EVERYTHING is color coordinated, that's why they can tell a tourist from a local. And why they have a pair of matching shoes for EVERY outfit. Men and women color coordinate. If you travel there, wear all brown or all black (including shoes) and they'll think you're a student. Worked for me when I was there in 2001. And you have less chance of being pick pocketed if you don't look too much like a tourist.
syako syako 9 years
febreeze, kris what is up with you and febreeze :ponder:
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"Although they are very expensive at the moment there are those really great low energy dryers on the market now. One selling point thought at least here in California is the energy co. gives us an annual credit for having such appliances as an incentive." That is the type that I bought! I loved it!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Oh, that makes more sense then :)
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