Ever since I can remember my mother has saved money on laundry by drying our clothes on clotheslines, which are making a comeback among people who want to be green. Once strung up, these simple and electricity-free devices are not always welcomed.
A couple days ago, I read a story from NPR of a New Hampshire activist fighting for his right to use a clothesline. A Google search quickly revealed an array of similar stories. It seems that many communities do not want to see clotheslines in their neighborhoods because they consider them an eyesore. I understand that many do not want to see their neighbor’s skivvies hanging out to dry, but there are ways to be discreet. I use the shower rod instead of leaving my damp clothes outside. You can also get a low-cost drying rack that folds up into tight spaces.
To someone who grew up with clotheslines it is difficult to understand what the big deal is all about. An opponent of clotheslines is quoted in a story from the Richmond Times-Dispatch as saying that clotheslines give an atmosphere of decline and a sense that one is not in a well-off neighborhood.
It maybe the nostalgia in me speaking, but I do not see how a clothesline makes a neighborhood’s status change. Electricity is one of the biggest home expenses that can easily be subsided with a rope and clothes pins, so why not use it?