It’s hard to believe but clotheslines were banned in certain parts of Toronto until a couple of years ago because some developers and homeowners felt that they were eyesores that caused real estate values to plummet. How something in as innocuous as a clothesline in one’s back yard could adversely affect the value of a neighbour’s property is beyond me but maybe it was our city’s puritan streak showing itself again. Perhaps the sight of neighbours’ undergarments would cause a collapse in morals. Or maybe there was concern that 40-somethings would be teased when the people next door realized that those Bon Jovi and Cinderella t-shirts hanging out to dry were not worn ironically.
Whatever the reasons, it was a stupid ban. Clotheslines save energy; a lot of energy. Clothes dryers are electricity hogs and can account for 6% of a family’s annual energy consumption. Using a clothesline during the warm months can significantly reduce that figure and generate substantial savings. Plus clothes smell so good when they’re dried outside and, lets face it, any excuse to spend some time in your backyard is a good one, especially when it’s a zero carbon activity like hanging up clothes.