Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam has struck a blow to one of my most vivid childhood memories. One I've filed away in my 'being green before its time' file. I'm talking about air drying laundry, a practice that for good reason may be making a comeback.
Who from my baby boomer generation can't remember struggling with those springy clothespins, half wrapped up in a soggy bedsheet, or blushingly struggling with which part of mom's brassiere you're supposed to clip anyway? And how about the occasional deep freeze, when pants and shirts could stand up on their own--only to have to go right into the wash again--thanks, junior? Ahhh, now we get a second chance. And this time we'll know we're doing good. This time we're going to get it right. Right?
Not so fast. In Living green comes with a price, which appeared in the October 16th Living/Arts section, Beam shatters our expectations by noting that "a clothesline in a neighborhood can lower property values by 15 percent." Uh oh. Didn't think about that. Thanks, Alex (by way of Richard Monson, President of the California Association of Homeowners Associations, as told to Legal Affairs magazine).
So, are we simply to let this twisted version of NIMNBY (Not In My Neighbor's Back Yard) thwart our green-ness? Not on your life. We're going to hold the line (ouch!) on this one. After all, it won't be too long before a gas-guzzling SUV parked in the driveway will label a homestead as unsustainable and appropriately devalued as well. And by then clotheslines will be seen for what they really are.
Seriously, prohibitions against hanging laundry are an issue in communities across the country--thousands of them. Learn more about this, and what average people like you and me can do to adopt this as one of our paths to sustainability, by logging on to Project Laundrylist. You may be surprised by the degree of opposition, as well as the commitment of 'Right to Dry' advocates.