With skyrocketing sales of hybrid cars, reusable cloth grocery bags, and energy-efficient light bulbs, I just haven’t been able to figure out why laundry racks and outdoor clotheslines have been hard to find in stores. After all, dryers use an enormous amount of energy. Where I live, using clotheslines is against my subdivision’s rules, yet every Saturday, I hang my laundry out to dry in the sun and no one complains. It’s effective, environmentally friendly, and free.
The New York Times writes about this very issue–I’m not the only one who’s frustrated!
Tumble dryers, like sport utility vehicles, are verging on an image problem: once symbols of economic success, they have morphed into icons of environmental disregard. The gas guzzlers of household appliances, electric dryers use about as much energy as a refrigerator — consuming more than 6 percent of household energy — even though they are used only intermittently.
Ontario is among a number of places that is considering striking down the clothesline bans that have been common in North America and parts of Europe, arguing that they are environmentally irresponsible. Laws seeking to overturn clothesline bans are now pending in Connecticut, Vermont and Colorado.
Making outdoor clotheslines illegal is flabbergasting. I’m not a criminal, I’m just frugal. I know clotheslines can be an eyesore when people leave their clothes outside for days, but an outright ban seem like overkill. And a little classist. Can everyone really afford a dryer? I find that hard to believe. I suppose drying clothes indoors is an option, but that doesn’t work so well if you have a lot of laundry.
This post turned out to be more of a rant and didn’t really have an OR tie-in. Not that I have the right to complain. I always forget to bring my to bring my reusable cloth shopping bags from the car into the grocery store (I have some serious eco-guilt issues). But I try to do my part.
Hotels constantly guilt trip us to reuse our towels and sheets to save energy (naturally, it totally works on me). They cite the cost to wash laundry but I have never seen a hotel also include dryer costs. The omission intrigues me. Maybe washing costs dwarf dryer costs? Even so, dryer costs must add up.