cb: To Dry or Not To Dry, or Clotheslined by the Homeowners Assoc.
. . . Like the majority of the 60 million people who now live in the country’s roughly 300,000 private communities, Ms. Saylor was forbidden to dry her laundry outside because many people viewed it as an eyesore, not unlike storing junk cars in driveways, and a marker of poverty that lowers property values.
In the last year, however, state lawmakers in Colorado, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont have overridden these local rules with legislation protecting the right to hang laundry outdoors, citing environmental concerns since clothes dryers use at least 6 percent of all household electricity consumption.
The dispute is serious.
“It seems like such a mundane thing, hanging laundry, and yet it draws in all these questions about individual rights, private property, class, aesthetics, the environment,” said Steven Lake, a British filmmaker who is releasing a documentary next May called “Drying for Freedom,” about the clothesline debate in the United States.
The film follows the actual case of feuding neighbors in Verona, Miss., where the police say one man shot and killed another last year because he was tired of telling the man to stop hanging his laundry outside.
But I have a solution. For communities with restrictions, and that don’t want to gaze, rapt, at the holes in the neighbor’s knickers flapping in the breeze – plant trees. Poplars, evergreens. Establish a wind-break zone about the homeowner’s association boundary, plant with wind and view-blocking, carbon dioxide-fixing, trees. Maybe hazel, pecan, or walnut trees for their annual bounty of edible nuts. Maybe apples and pears or oranges and plums. Cherries or peaches. A bit of gardening and landscaping, and in a brief time, watch the cycle of nature cover up those unsightly undies for four to six months of the year or more.
And all without bothering the neighbors. Or would the green-laundry types, intent on saving the air and the climate, object to the extra trees? Naw.
If the roof caves in.
If the homeowners association were to change it’s policy, the mature trees could double as clotheslines. They could use something like the Tuff Enuff Tree Saver to keep the rope from scarring the tree bark (could damage the tree or limb).
More on clotheslines at Project Laundry List.
Project Laundry List is making air-drying and cold-water washing laundry acceptable and desirable as simple and effective ways to save energy.
Hat tip to Sharon at Casaubon’s Book.