Friday, April 18, 2008

Ontario lifts clothesline ban

If you know ecochick personally, it's no secret how she feels about certain aspects of suburbia. One of the more bewildering aspects is the strange set of "rules" for many communities, rules that stifle personal expression as well as making no sense. One rule that falls in to the latter category is the banning of clotheslines in many areas, since they are considered "unsightly". Thus, homeowners were forced to either hang their washed clothes to dry inside (a whole lot less efficient and kind of a pain) or use their dryers all the time (energy hogs, hard on clothing so that your items don't last as long and require quicker replacement, did I say massive energy hogs?).

Well, no more. The Province of Ontario has just passed a law overturning all clothesline bans, including those mandated by subdivisions. According to the article, using outdoor clotheslines instead of electric dryers can:
  • Save consumers $30 a year as dryer use would be reduced by 25 per cent
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions, as five dryers produces about the same amount of emissions as an average-sized car
  • Reduce demand on the power grid, as dryers use about 900 kilowatt hours of electricity a year.

In addition, there are other great benefits of clothesline use:
  • Your clothes last longer since they're not getting beaten up by the dryer;
  • static electricity is reduced, thus eliminating the need for dryer sheets or fabric softener;
  • the smell of line-dried clothes is sublime, eliminating the need for artificially scented products ("fragrance" is one of the worst items on an ingredient list, environmentally speaking);
  • the sun's bleaching ability is better than bleach itself, especially for things like baby diapers. Hang them in the sun and watch your whites go sparkly white.

So head to your nearest home goods store and pick up a clothesline - with weather like this, there's no reason not to!

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