GREEN DEBATE: The Right to Dry

by , 07/15/09
filed under: Environment, global warming

green debate, the right to dry, clothesline drying, green drying, green laundry, solar dryer

What if someone told you how you could, or could not do something as simple as drying your clothes? That’s the issue that several people and the communities they live in are battling over right now in many separate but similar “clothesline wars” across the U.S. The linedryers’ argument? They want to be able to harness the power of the most eco-friendly “solar dryer” there is – the sun – by linedrying their clothing and believe they should have the right to do so. The landlords, property owners and community boards on the opposing side say that hanging laundry out of windows and in yards looks sloppy and lowers property value substantially. Who do YOU think is right? Sound off in our poll after the jump!

Linedryers: The cold, hard facts:
As the green movement grows, more and more people are hanging their clothing out to dry rather than using a conventional dryer which uses energy to make and to run. In addition to being earth-conscious, linedrying is wallet-conscious. People save on electricity costs by skipping the machine.

Anti-linedryers: The cold, hard, facts:
Landlords and community-board members have to think about the community as a whole, even if it means sacrificing some of the rights of individual inhabitants. Statistically, property values can decrease up to 15 percent (according to some sources) when hanging laundry is visible. And in a housing market like the one we are in currently, every penny counts.

What is your stance? Should we be able to hang our laundry anywhere we want? Or should we respect our neighbors and their property by not putting our clothes on the line?

Should people be allowed to line dry their clothes?

  • 23 Votes No
  • 368 Votes Yes

View Results

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Images via, ciee’s Flickr photostream and Melissa Marie Hernandez’s Flickr photostream

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  1. laundry_man November 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    It doesn’t have to be one way or another, there are at least a couple of alternatives.

    One alternative to using a clothes dryer is using a spin dryer, such as at which is nearly 100 times as energy efficient as a tumble dryer.

    In some other countries balconies are designed so that you can line dry clothes on the balcony, but it looks better aesthetically as perellush mentioned above.

  2. mary q contrarie August 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I love the idea of redesigning suburbia and I think the best way to start is with small actions like using a clothesline or drying your clothes on a clothes drying rack proudly displayed on the front lawn.

  3. perellush July 16, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I have grew up in a place where we used to dry ALL of our clothes outside. Not as easy as a dryer, but way less energy and landry always felt and smelled fresh. In Israel, most new construction is build with service balconies where the laundry is to be dried that is semi-enclosed from outside. Much better aethetically and works just as well. It is also fairly compact. However, until the mindset of people changes that this is better thing to do and better for you and every1 around, electric dryer is much easier way to go (and definitely much faster).

  4. russ July 16, 2009 at 9:10 am

    f you want to raise chickens then live where it is allowed.

    If you want to line dry clothes then live where it is allowed.

    If you see many cities in Europe they really look bad with all the clothes flapping in the breeze.

  5. Helene July 16, 2009 at 12:19 am

    I find it unbelievable that residential developers are still trying to ban people from using clotheslines on their own properties. This is happening in Canada as well and at least in one community has been reversed by the municipality. This is definitely a sign that our obsession with perfect esthetics has gone too far.

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