Friday, June 5, 2009

The right to hang


Hang-dry that it. Our home blogger over on MNN, Matt Hickman, had  a post yesterday about states tackling clothes line hang ups. Okay, welcome to day two of my ranting (well, as much as I can rant) about things that the government shouldn't be doing because we could just be doing it ourselves! Yesterday, it was banning and taxing paper and plastic bags. Today, it's drying clothes on the line outside.

There's a "right to dry movement" brewing that's out there just waiting to lower people's property values and revert families back to the 1920's. Oh, wait, no that's not what the movement is trying to do. It's fighting to make it legal for people to save energy, keep greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere, and save money. Seriously, we need the government to make this LEGAL?

According to Matt's post

Clothesline bans, usually enacted by homeowner and condo associations, operate under the guise that they these simple energy-savers are unsightly blemishes on urban and suburban landscapes. States including Florida, Colorado, Utah, and most recently, Maine, have right-to-dry laws intact while other states such as Maine and Hawaii have similar bills in the works.

Yes, state legislatures have had to spend man hours and tax payer money to make it legal for people to dry their clothing outside. Does anyone else find this ridiculous? 

Here's what happens when I put my clothes out to dry:
  • I get fresh air 
  • I get a little exercise (hey, after a certain age just bending over repeatedly to reach into the laundry basket is considered exercise)
  • I have a chance sometimes to chat with my neighbor (who is not offended by the site of my clean laundry)
  • I save money
  • I reduce my green house gas emissions
  • I save energy
Exactly which one of those activities is so offensive to other people that the state needs to mandate that I have the right to do it?

There's a website dedicated to hang drying called Project Laundry List. They educate about line drying and they work with community activists to bring about a change in local policy. They also maintain a Community Registry of places that ban or restrict clothesline use.

I don't know. Am I missing something here? Are you against drying clothes outdoors? Do you know someone who is? Could you explain it to me, please?


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3 comments:

pinkpackrat said...

hmmm those same homeowner and condo associations tell people they can't put flags out or wreaths on their front door. I guess the only solution is a right to dry movement. I, for one, love the smell of sheets dried outdoors. My next door neighbor has a clothes line and uses it--what's the big deal? I'm with you on this one.

GJK said...

I was kind of hoping when we moved to Iowa that I would be able to line-dry things outside. I haven't heard any particular regulations against in here, but just what I know of my neighbors ... I'm guessing it wouldn't be well received. Especially because we live on a hill, with our backyard open to a road behind us and the backside of our house makes for a lovely view that we don't want to mess up for others.

Are there clotheslines you can buy that don't stay up permanently? Even if there were, though, they would probably blow away in our wind ....

Robin Shreeves said...

Pink - way back when my now 20 year old nephew was little, my brother and his wife were told by their homeowner's association that they couldn't have a yellow roof on their play set - it had to be green so it wouldn't stick out. I decided then that I would never move to a place with a homeowner's association.

GJK - You can buy a retractable clothes line. That's what we have in the backyard. It's attached to the shed, and there is a hook on a tree that it gets hooked to. When not in use, it can be unhooked and retracts back into its casing. I never bother to unhook it though.