New Life for Clotheslines

The government of Ontario is proposing to put in place a regulation to make it mandatory for developers and municipalities to allow outdoor clotheslines.

There are many municipalities, or developers, who have put covenants or bylaws in place that ban outdoor clotheslines. I have always considered such bans to be stupid. Does your right not to look at my clean underwear exceed my right to have clean air, and a future for the planet?

You may think this is a small thing. But it isn’t. 5.5% of Ontario’s residential electricity demand comes from dryers. That’s 2/3 of what is consumed by the residential sector for air conditioning. It is a big and important number.

Then there is the basic economic argument. Drying clothes on a clothesline is free. A person of limited means, or in a tough spot between jobs, should of course have the ability to use something for free, especially when the impact on neighbours is laughably small.

I use a dryer about 3 times per year, when I simply don’t have time to wait. In good weather, I use a clothesline. In the winter, I use hangers inside, and the dry winter indoor air dries clothes in less than a day. It is easy. It is painless. It takes very little extra time compared to loading a dryer, and unloading it, and folding the clothes. In both cases, folding the clothes takes the most time. My dryer will no doubt last longer than I will.

The proposal for the regulation is now open for comment. No doubt the housing developers, dryer manufacturers, white goods retailers, and power workers will have comments. If you want to post a comment, go to EBR.

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