Drying your clothes on a good old fashioned clothes line and courtesy of the sun can cut emissions and save a stack of cash, but in some communities they are banned for “aesthetic” reasons.
As mentioned in my article on the environmental benefits of clothes line use, an average electric clothes dryer run for an hour will use 5 kWh of electricity (5000 watt-hours) and cost whatever your kWh (kilowatt-hour) rate is x 5.
If your electricity is sourced through coal-fired generation, around 1.5 pounds of carbon emissions per kilowatt hour are generated. Over 12 months, those emissions, not to mention the cost of the electricity, can really add up.
If you’re in the USA and subject to one of these (in my opinion) absolutely ridiculous bans and would like to line-dry your clothes in your yard, there may be good news for you.
According to Jon Howland, a Seattle-based teacher and volunteer at Sightline, if you’re in one of the following states:
– New Mexico
– North Carolina
… there may be loopholes in laws that will allow you to thumb your nose at any bans.
One of the most interesting loopholes relates to solar power.
What are known as “solar access” laws; some decades old, prevent restrictions on the use of solar radiation for heating, cooling or electricity generation.
When we think of solar power, what often springs to mind are solar panels; but another collection device of sorts that utilizes solar radiation, has been around for thousands of years and could be considered to fall in this category is the clothes line.
John has put in a lot of effort in researching this and provides links to relevant legislation in each state mentioned above.
Rage against the (clothes dryer) machine! Free your clothes pegs and smalls – put these loopholes to the test!
For those who have no way around the ban, or find the need to use a clothes dryer for whatever reason; here’s a few clothes dryer efficiency tips – you’ll reduce related emissions and save some money too!