The simple, nostalgic act of hanging clothes outside to dry, regaining popularity as an eco-friendly act, has become a full- blown political flap in Richmond, Va. On one side of the line, proponents of the right-to-dry movement say clotheslines are a green alternative to dryers, which are second only to refrigerators and air conditioners as the top energy consumers in most homes.
“I call my clothesline my solar dryer,” said Lisa Taranto, a green activist and director of the community Tricycle Gardens, who hangs laundry outside her East Broad Street home.
Opponents, however, see clotheslines as flags of poverty that create eyesores and devalue property.
“They’re unsightly by most people’s standards,” said Jeanne Bridgforth, a realtor with Long & Foster in Richmond. “It gives an atmosphere of decline. You don’t sense you’re in a well-heeled neighborhood when you see people hanging their laundry out to dry.”
Julie Young describes the dispute in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.