Thursday, May 28, 2009

One thing for the planet: the clothesline

I recently heard a fact that just flat-out astounds me: it's becoming increasingly illegal to line dry your clothes. Apparently 19% of Americans live in areas governed by a Home Owners Association (HOA) most of these believe that line drying clothes is unsightly and even threaten to foreclose an owner's home if they attempt the age-old practice. WHAT!!???!??!

Luckily I don't live, and never will live, in an HOA. And even if I did I'd probably line dry my clothes anyway just to be provocative, 'cause that's the kind of thing I love to do. Plus, my kid's cloth diapers take three hours to dry in the dryer, so they're on the line in nice weather, or on my drying rack next to the furnace, no exceptions.

But for those of you who do live in an HOA there is hope! I could go on and on but these sites say it better, visit one now to see how you can help:

Right 2 Dry : sign the petition and add a cool voting widget to your blog site (just put mine up!) Do it!

Project Laundry List: A great site with the top ten reasons to air dry clothes, the biggest one being that it can save about $25 per household per month and 15% of electricity costs. YES! $25 and 15%!! The site also has some great line-drying tips. One thing they don't say, however, is to give your clothes a good snap before you hang them up so they dry with fewer wrinkles.

Freedom to Dry: just for fun. A bit of legislation put up in Connecticut this past January that will ban any governing body (such as an HOA, or town zoning laws) from banning drying by "direct solar energy", otherwise a clothesline. Good for you Connecticut!

For a good laugh click on this cartoon to see six hilarious Doonesbury clothesline comics:

Happy weekend! I hope the weather is nice where you are and your clothes are smelling fresh!


  1. Love the cartoon, and Doonesbury was great!

    It's truly insane that these prohibitions have been enacted.

    Topiary started line-drying her clothes about a year ago, and saw an immediate drop in the power bill by about half. With the economy and people losing their jobs, it's amazing that more people haven't adopted a clothesline.

    Probably the same people prohibit clotheslines as drive those monstrous trucks and SUVs. And then they'll use "shortage" as an excuse to ruin Alaska wilderness and oceans to drill for oil. Shame, shame shame.


  2. Good for Cow! I agree, people would rather use a clothes dryer and open up ANWR. sad sad

  3. I would be lost without my clothes line. I use my dryer but I love sheets and other articles hung out. Sounds silly but the clothesline was one of the deciding factors in my decision to buy our house. My daughter lives in under home association rules. She has regretted ever since she moved in. No flags, no clothesline, no kids toys visible from the street. No No No - I guess they forgot that a home is for living.

  4. In Oz, no one uses a clothes dryer, unless it rains for forty days and forty nights. Here in Canada, they have just started lifting the ban on clothes lines. (They were considered unsightly.) Life gets funnier and funnier the longer you hang around...

  5. Maybe I should move to Canada? :)

  6. Hello! I love your blog! You have an award waiting for you at Sunflower Ranch:

    Congratulations! :D

  7. Kate:

    You and I had the same idea, about two years ago. Attached below is a link to my story:



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