Sometimes you’re sitting around, wondering what you are going to write about, and something just falls straight into your lap. So it happened to me today, and luckily about something that I have particularly strong feelings about – drying laundry on the line. If you aren’t American, you are probably thinking that this is a given and why would I even need to waste my time; however, most Americans abandoned line drying in my grandmothers’ generation and have relied solely on tumble dryers since.
I dislike tumble dryers, with the same kind of disgust that I reserve for plastic shopping bags. We have a dryer, and I use it sometimes to dry sheets in the winter when it rains, but that is about it. Dryers ruin clothes, cost the earth to run, and generally charge things with static electricity. Who needs outdoor-fabric softener when you actually hang your clothes outside to dry? I enjoy the act of hanging laundry, because I can just space out for a few minutes. Even better, since you’re hanging laundry, it is pretty much guaranteed that you’ll be left in peace, lest the person bothering you get enlisted to help. It’s also a great way to get outside and breathe fresh air.
Anyway, I started in on this because line-drying is actually banned in most places in the States, and I think this is, well, idiotic. Wouldn’t you know that someone more organized and passionate than I am actually started a petition to change things? If you’re in the States or American and feel that line-drying should be decriminalized, please go to Right 2 Dry and sign their petition. They are asking that the White House devote one day to publicly line drying in order to increase awareness and practice. You can probably sign their petition even if you don’t have an American zip code, but I haven’t tried it. Further, Project Laundry List is a website devoted to line-drying and includes a blog and a store for buying hard-to-come-by things like clothes pegs (I’m not being sarcastic here).
So, yes, next time you reach for your dryer, check the weather first and move outside. If you already hang outside, then smile and take a deep breath of fresh air next time you are out. Think of all those households in the States who aren’t able to hang out laundry because of silly social-class norms and downright asinine community laws. Lift your item of clothing high onto the line in pride, knowing that you are perfectly capable of legally drying your laundry in a time-honored and responsible way without the help of some energy-hogging machine to pill the fabric and shrink your lacies.
Now, if you don’t mind, I actually do have a load of laundry I have to hang out…