It is a weird alchemy of a commodity culture that it turns the normal and sensible into the eccentric and suspect. Natural food becomes a cultish attachment rather than a redundancy. Walking instead of driving becomes a sign of questionable political inclination. A desire to conserve rather than waste becomes “political correctness.” Then there’s clotheslines, which have emerged as sources of contention in suburbs throughout the nation.
Clotheslines are the best way to dry clothes, absolutely and without question. Clothes last longer and smell better; and the sun is clean and free. The consequences for the use of fossil fuels are larger than you might think. Some 5% to 10% of the residential energy use in the U.S. goes to washing and drying clothes, and most of that is in the drying. Wash with cold water and you save 85% on that side. Hang the clothes on the line and you cut 100% of the electricity or gas use on the other.