“A clothesline is not a solar panel or a Prius — it’s something that everyone can afford,” Alexander Lee of Project Laundry List told the New York Times’ Green Inc. blog. Groups like Project Laundry List have sprung up to combat local homeowner protection laws that ban line drying of clothes. Opposition to line drying often comes from condo associations and neighbors who don’t want to look at a family’s underwear hanging in the breeze. States in favor of supporting right-to-dry laws include Florida, Colorado, Utah, Maine, while Hawaii has a bill in the works.
There is a strong climate change argument in favor of line drying. Electric dryers are a close second to refrigerators as the biggest household contributor to global warming. Looking at 2001 data, the Energy Information Agency estimates that dryers makeup 5.8 percent of home electricity usage. There is an economic argument too. Consumer Reports wrote about the right-to-dry movement, indicating that use of an electric dryer costs families an average of $80 a year or more.
While some see the movement to line drying a step back in time to greater inconvenience, others argue that line drying is actually a better end result and overall experience than what electricity-fired technology provides. Clothes smell of the fresh air, last longer, and do not need extra folding and hanging if done correctly. If you are interested in making the switch check out Project Laundry List or Instructables.com’s how-to demonstration for making line drying easy for busy people.