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Re: Clotheslines make sense ... and cents

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Clotheslines make sense ...

Regarding the article "Green living hung up in Carrboro" (by Sam Wardle, March 4): Even though the homeowners' associations (HOAs) technically could penalize a homeowner for a clothesline in their yard, have any actually done it? I understand that in some states, legal challenges against HOAs for this have been won by the homeowner.

Irrespective, people can be creative within their own living space to line-dry their clothes. We have been here for three years and we do not own a dryer. We line-dry all our clothes, but we do it in converted attic space. To reduce the dust that one will get from the insulation, we covered it all with radiant barrier (a thicker form of cooking foil one might wrap a turkey in before baking). It is very easy to install with a sharp knife and a staple gun.

See our non-dryer and barrier at There are other pictures that show this on:

If people do not have suitable attic space, how about in a garage, or creating a screened area in the backyard so that close residents cannot see it?

Anyway, with energy prices such as they are, and the impact of pollution from burning coal to make electricity, I think getting a little "retro" and going back to line-drying of clothes makes sense. Not only does one save the energy cost from the drying, clothes dryers are a very abrasive/ hot environment for the clothes and their lifespan is seriously reduced by this action. All in, line-dried clothes last a lot longer, and by consequence do not need to be replaced, so people save on multiple fronts.

Makes sense to me.

Darrell Edgley

... and cents

In response to "Green living hung up in Carrboro": For those homeowners and neighborhood covenant enthusiasts who want to maintain restrictions to clotheslines, do me a favor. Rig up a temporary (no doubt illegal) line in your backyard and hang up your just-cleaned sheets. Then slide into bed that night with the sweet scents of spring and crisp, clean fabric surrounding you. It's heaven.

Our parents knew best: line-drying saves money (electric dryers are one of the biggest energy hogs in a house), clothes last longer and smell better, and you can get a little aerobic exercise in the process. It's frustrating to think that we would spend time debating this subject in the General Assembly when our state's economy is crumbling, and we are all looking for ways to save money.

"Watts-Busters," the energy conservation committee in Durham's Watts-Hillandale neighborhood, has launched a "clothesline brigade"—we come to neighbors' homes to help them find a place to let that laundry blow. I had a chuckle over the false notion that clothesline users would be "less tidy" neighbors in covenant-restricted locations; to the contrary, the folks hanging out a line are precisely the ones who appreciate the beauty of the natural world and who also understand that the road to sustainability is often right in front of our eyes—and nose.

Mig Little Hayes


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