Let it all hang out - your laundry, that is

ECONOMIC NAVIGATION AND SIGHTSEEING

Blogging Biz

May 25, 2008|By JAY HANCOCK

Here's a way to cut your electricity bill and help the planet: Fire your dryer. Running a clothes dryer four hours a week costs $2 or $3 and draws juice from polluting electricity plants.

Unfortunately, some believe clotheslines are visual pollution. Many communities restrict or ban clotheslines. In the Columbia village of Wilde Lake, you can use only umbrella or retractable lines. Your application must include "a sketch of the clothesline showing style, color, materials and operational techniques," and a "plat plan showing the intended location" of the line.

Fortunately,. a backlash is growing. The New Hampshire-based Project Laundry List militantly promotes the "right to dry." At the National Association of Attorneys General conference on energy this month, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden exhorted his peers to fight clothesline repression.

"We are blind to some of the simplest solutions," Wasden said, according to the Associated Press. "Clotheslines are not pretty enough for our notion of the American dream."

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler was at the conference, in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. He's pro-clothesline, says spokeswoman Raquel Guillory. "Of course we support naturally spring-fresh laundry." But, she added, "You have to respect the restrictions of private community associations."

No you don't. The time for civil laundry disobedience is now. Let 1,000 brassieres and socks bloom and flap in the backyard breeze.

jay.hancock@baltsun.com

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