Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hang out your wash, Save the planet

I always enjoyed the smell of freshly laundered clothes after they hung to dry on an outdoor clothesline.

And the sound of clean sheets snapping like sails when a breeze stirred up.

When I was a kid, my mother hung out our wash in the back yard.
At 80-something, she still does when weather permits.

When my kids were young, and we lived in a 'starter house' in a 'starter neighborhood,' my wife hung out the wash. Sometimes,
I did too. So did most all of our neighbors. It provided a chance to exchange greetings and maybe some gossip with whomever happened to be putting wash up or taking it down when you were doing the same.

Then we moved to a more affluent neighborhood where, it was made clear to us that "people don't do that here." Apparently, it was an eyesore. A sign that you couldn't afford a clothes dryer. Whatever the reason, it was decidedly déclassé.

If social mores were to change, I admit I probably would not string up the old clothesline. All that schlepping from the basement to the yard. Heavy baskets. Life's too hectic. Who has the time?

Well, apparently, some folks do.

Today, I stumbled upon a post in the blog of the New Jersey law firm of Stark and Stark in which attorney Jonathan H. Katz explores "a growing environmental movement that has been dubbed 'The Right to Dry.' "

Did you know that a study found that "(clothes) dryers can emit up to a ton of carbon dioxide per household every year"?

What for me is a nostalgic sensory experience is, for others, an environmental statement, a legal 'right,' and the subject of legislative debate.

Whether or not you're committed to letting it all hang out, I think you'll enjoy Mr. Katz's post.

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