Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nature's Automatic Dryer

Some rules are just plain stupid.
I’ve read recently about some condo association rules in Edmonton that the forbid the use of clothes lines. I read about this in a newspaper column devoted to venting. I have only this complaint to go on, not the original rule as written. All the more reason to go off half-cocked, I say.
The concern is aesthetic. Laundry is ugly. It’s unseemly to hang one’s wash out as citizens will see it.
Condos have all manner of rules. I presume the bulk of the rules are grounded in logic and reason.
Except for the no clothes line rule. That’s just stupid.
Because hanging the laundry out is good for the environment. It saves energy. The sun is Nature’s automatic dryer. It kills germs or bacteria or something so it’s good and healthy. I’d check and find out, but I’m lazy.
And it smells great. No dryer sheet can match fresh air.
We’ve been hanging our laundry on a clothes tree off the deck since we moved into the house 13 years ago. Not only do we not own a dryer, during some renovations years ago I had the plug for it removed.
In winter we commonly hang them on a laundry line downstairs, but if the weather is dry and not too cold I’ll put them outside.
Dryers are convenient. They’re easy. Clothes fresh from the dryer are warm and snuggly.
They waste energy and are an expense, but apparently this doesn’t matter. Looks are more important to the condo associations than silly health and environmental concerns.


Crabby McSlacker said...

I totally agree with you--yet this prohibition is extremely common!

Wonder if it will start to change with energy prices climbing? (At least they are in the states). Or if folks will continue to put aesthetics above common sense?

Leah J. Utas said...

Good morning, Crabby. Yes, this prohibition is all too common. You make a good point about energy prices, but I wonder. As long as the well-to-do have money to burn they'll want to look like they live in a perfect world.
It's hard to say how that'll filter down to ordinary folk.
Common sense? It'll have to be too late before we get any of that nonsense!

the Bag Lady said...

The Bag Lady feels guilty. Her outdoor clothesline got ripped down in an accident and has yet to be put back up. Maybe that is a good project for today!

Leah J. Utas said...

I had no intention of inciting guilt in anyone, dfBag Lady, but if it gets the clothesline back up, I'll take it.

Hilary said...

Ontario has just last month lifted the ban on clotheslines. It varied across the province - our own city had a bylaw banning them, but this is now overruled for all homes except high rise apartments and condos.

Leah J. Utas said...

Good for Ontario, Hilary. Clothes should be free to blow in the breeze.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

I live in a co-op apartment complex that forbids clothes lines and I owned a house and a condo in Florida in developments where lines were forbidden as well.

It's all about appearances.


Reb said...

I hate having condos and block associations and what not telling me what I can and can't do in or on my own property. I have no choice in the apartment, I don't own it.

I probably wouldn't argue with the clothesline prohibition IF I KNEW that they were providing the new washers that spin clothes almost dry anyway and new dryers that take less energy and have sensors that shut them off when the clothes are dry. As I know that they aren't supplying these, then yeah, that sucks.

Dawn said...

Wow! I had no idea that whole cities banned clotheslines.

In NZ there is the odd area that says they have to be round the back.

During the winter, I have a clotheshorse set up in my lounge near the woodburner. Makes the lounge look like a laundrette but I always have clean, dry - and warm - clothes!

Leah J. Utas said...

dfTerrie - Looks trump everything for some.

Reb - I was thinking of you as I wrote this. It's awfully annoying to be told what to do.

Dawn - "Round the back" is a sensible approach to a rule. At least you're allowed them.

boots586 said...

I own a dryer but only use it occasionally. In the winter I hang my clothes in my basement. It adds humidity to the air, saves wear and tear on the clothes, saves on my gas bill. In the warm weather I hang laundry outside. I have done it in my neighborhood for almost 40 years. I am the only one who still does it.

Leah J. Utas said...

Boots586- Glad to hear it.
Never considered the humidity aspect, but you're right.

Anonymous said...

"Looks are more important to the condo associations..." Yup, you're absolutely right. Hubby and I used to live in a condo and their little rules were silly, and mostly concerned with appearances.

And argh, the no-clothesline rule is ridiculous.

We have a clothesline these days -- one of the many benefits of living in the country. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

I've never lived in a condo so I'm glad you've backed me on their silly rules, Thomma Lynn.
Humans have been hanging out the wash since we started wearing clothes. No one should tell us we can't.
And good for you for having a clothes line. I find them quite peaceful.

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