Fortunately, reports New Scientist, we are seeing some progress on this front, and fewer Americans are viewing clothes dryers as necessary:
There is a growing "right to dry" movement aimed at overturning clothes line bans, and an increasing number of Americans see the clothes line as an elegant pennant of the eco-chic. In April, the Pew Research Center reported that the proportion of Americans who rate a clothes dryer as a necessity has fallen to 66 per cent, down from 83 per cent in 2006. Clothes lines could be the gateway drug that will break Americans of their consumption habits.
I don't know about this whole 'gateway drug to lower energy consumption' idea, but I know we have both a clothes line and a drying rack for two major reasons:
- It saves us money on our energy bill. Even when we do run the dryer, we do our best to run it late at night, when electricity rates are lowest (once we get a Smart Grid box, we can set the dryer to ONLY go on when rates are lowest)
- It saves our clothing, reducing the frequency with which we need to buy new duds. Everyone knows that dryers shrink cotton clothing. Generally, they tend to wear out shirts, pants, shorts, you name it much faster than drying clothing on a clothes line or basement drying rack.