You know how we’re always going on about community associations that mandate turfgrass, well watered and mowed? Well, it’s no surprise that the overwhelming majority of them also regulate or ban clotheslines, despite the environmental benefits of using them, rather than energy-hog clothes dryers. According to this article in the Christian Science Monitor, both types of restrictions are “vestiges of trim and tidy hopes that may not fit with the renewed emphasis on going green.” Further, the article reveals that 60 million Americans belong to 300,000 community associations, so they’re definitely a force to be reckoned with (and ranted about).
But at least for the clothesline restrictions, help is on the way. There’s a Right To Dry movement afoot in the country, led by Project Laundry List. It’s been working on the issue 8 years now and its list of directors and staff is seriously impressive, beginning with Helen Caldicott, founder of the Nobel Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility. Notice on their website they provide free teleconferencing and free use of PowerPoints for the cause, and other smart organizing tools. Maybe they could help someone (us?) take on those mowing restrictions. (Possible headline – “Bloggers start Right to Grow Movement.” Sounds good to me!)
Our landscape architect friends at The Dirt recently linked to the CSM story and made this suggestion:
On your next residential project, why not suggest a little area for clothes
drying outside? It can go right over there beside the koi pond, the
outdoor kitchen, the firepit, the play area for the dogs, and the
Uh-huh, that’ll happen. And here’s my own sour note of realism: I used to use a clothesline myself and if memory serves, my clothes were always wrinkled and stiff. Which is why a certain boyfriend moving into my house demanded I buy a dryer, pronto.