Excerpted from Jon Hurdle's U.S. residents fight for the right to hang laundry:

Carin Froehlich pegs her laundry to three clotheslines strung between trees outside her 18th-century farmhouse, knowing that her actions annoy local officials who have asked her to stop.

Froehlich is among the growing number of people across America fighting for the right to dry their laundry outside against a rising tide of housing associations who oppose the practice despite its energy-saving green appeal.

Although there are no formal laws in this southeast Pennsylvania town against drying laundry outside, a town official called Froehlich to ask her to stop drying clothes in the sun. And she received two anonymous notes from neighbors saying they did not want to see her underwear flapping about.

"They said it made the place look like trailer trash," she said, in her yard across the street from a row of neat, suburban houses. "They said they didn't want to look at my 'unmentionables.'"

Froehlich says she hangs her underwear inside. The effervescent 54-year-old is one of a growing number of Americans demanding the right to dry laundry on clotheslines despite local rules and a culture that frowns on it.

Their interests are represented by Project Laundry List, a group that argues people can save money and reduce carbon emissions by not using their electric or gas dryers, according to the group's executive director, Alexander Lee.

Widespread adoption of clotheslines could significantly reduce U.S. energy consumption, argued Lee, who said dryer use accounts for about 6 percent of U.S. residential electricity use.

Florida, Utah, Maine, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii have passed laws restricting the rights of local authorities to stop residents using clotheslines. Another five states are considering similar measures, said Lee, 35, a former lawyer who quit to run the non-profit group.


http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE5AH3JQ2009111...(News+%2F+US+%2F+Environment

Tags: Project Laundry List, carbon emissions, clotheslines, laundry

Views: 16

Replies to This Discussion

That's incredible. I've been hanging my laundry outside for years, but then again I tend to live in the trailer trash neighborhoods.
It's funny that Froelich's detractors went straight for the moral indignation route- feigning offense at seeing her "unmentionables"(the "unmentionables" that were drying inside).
People should make their own underwear from dyed fabric, with American flag-like stars and stripes. Officials would think twice before pestering true patriots.
People should make their own underwear from dyed fabric, with American flag-like stars and stripes. Officials would think twice before pestering true patriots.

Love it. I'll get right on that. :-P
I love line-dried clothes, but I am in a condo and can't do it. I think it is a great (and green) idea, but I can see both sides of the argument. My suggestion would be a compromise: Clothes can only be line-dried on Sat & Sun, from 8 AM to 8 PM, from April through Sept. Obviously people don't want to line-dry during the cold months, and by restricting it to the weekends only, which is when most people do their laundry, it will prevent people from letting their clothes stay out for long periods of time.
My suggestion would be a compromise: Clothes can only be line-dried on Sat & Sun, from 8 AM to 8 PM, from April through Sept.

*Handslaps DG*

- I rarely work a schedule that has me off on the weekends. My laundry gets done whenever it needs doing.

- More often than not, I end up drying mine overnight.

- I do line-dry during the cold months. It just takes a lot longer to dry (although 'cold' here is still usually above freezing).

But I'm sorry to say I'm too often guilty of leaving mine out too long.

*Runs outside to get my Thanksgiving laundry and bring it inside*
Dallas: I can see both sides of the argument.

Honestly I can't. That 'trailer trash' argument just looks plain silly to me. If it's because they don't want 'unmentionables' displayed in public places they should also ban lingerie ads.
If it's because they don't want 'unmentionables' displayed in public places they should also ban lingerie ads.

Another solution would be to ban undergarments altogether.
No more buru sera business? That would be criminal.
No more buru sera business? That would be criminal.

Ok. Only undergarments produced for use outside of the buru sera trade will be banned. This will create thousands of jobs in the Undergarment Police Corps that will be formed to monitor compliance.
Honestly I can't. That 'trailer trash' argument just looks plain silly to me.

Well, let's put it this way: I live in a condo complex, and there are a lot of rules about what you can and cannot do. You can't hang orange curtains in your window. You can't paint your front door green. You can't leave a car propped up on cinder blocks in your parking space. You can't leave junk on your patio. And you can't hang your laundry out to dry.

There is good reason to have these restrictions. If you didn't, people would do whatever they wanted, and soon the place would look like a junk yard.
I think the laundry story is just class prejudice, that dictates that the upper classes always have machines to do the stuff for them, and that the "low-tech" solution of hanging clothes to dry is "low-class"

You're probably right. I'm for the rules at my complex, but I also like hanging my clothes out. In fact, I got in trouble for it cuz I was doing it in spite of the fact I knew it was against the rules.


I'm just saying that I understand why complexes and community associations have rules to begin with. That's why I suggest a compromise with a time restriction. We don't need to be too uptight, but we still have to have rules, too, because so many people will simply do what they want without consideration of others simply because there are no rule against XYZ. Know what I mean?

Another issue we have is people wanting to hand those bamboo shades outside their windows (on the patio side) or tint their windows, both of which are forbidden. However, those who want to do it are upstairs and face west, and their condos get really, really hot in the summer. Again, I see both sides. The BOD doesn't want the place to look tacky, but the owners/renters don't want a hot condo. I understand both arguments. IMO, we should allow them to hang them for certain parts of the year, and for certain times of the day.

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