Add this one to the list of things people argue about when they have too much time on their hands.
Perkasie, a small town in Pennsylvania, is home to less than 10,000 residents including Carin Froehlich. Yahoo! News reported today that Froehlich has had to fight for her right to hang laundry outdoors.
Neighbors have complained that they don't want to see Froehlich's laundry outside because makes the neighborhood “look like trailer trash.” A town official has even gone so far to call Froehlich to ask her to stop drying her clothes outdoors.
Froehlich argues that it's an American right to dry clothes outdoors, wryly noting that if her husband has a right to bear arms, she has a right to hang laundry. Besides, Froehlich, like many others who hang laundry outdoors, talks about the savings, since line-drying clothes lowers the family's electric bill.
Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that there is a non-profit organization dedicated to making air-drying laundry an “acceptable and desirable” practice. Project Laundry List doesn't merely believe that that Americans have a right to line-dry their laundry, but also touts the environmental benefits of line-drying and cold-water washing.
According to Project Laundry List's sample letters to elected officials, “clothes dryers use an estimated 6 to 10 % of residential electricity use. The average family can save over $85/year by using a clothesline instead of a dryer.”
The take of this Inner Thoughts & Outbursts writer? Hanging clothes outdoors makes sense. There's no reason people shouldn't be allowed to hang their clothes (even their undies!) to line-dry instead of using a dryer. While I personally prefer my dryer (I have allergies that make line-drying more of a hassle than a help), I certainly appreciate the environmental benefits of line-drying. Of course, the bottom line isn't that line-drying saves people money or that it's good for the environment; the bottom line is that people should butt out of their neighbors' business! Clean laundry blowing in the breeze is a nod to a bygone era, not a malicious eyesore. This writer says, “get over it!”