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The Green Life: The Right-To-Dry Movement

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February 10, 2009

The Right-To-Dry Movement

Clothesline Downy makes dryer sheets that smell like a clean breeze because, well, people like their clothes to smell like a clean breeze. Why not go for the real thing? You can try, but America's more than 300,000 association-governed communities are going to give you hell for it.

Millions of citizens are denied the right to dry clothes outside because laundry flapping in the breeze is considered unattractive by many homeowner associations. They have concerns involving moist jeans bringing property values down.

Clothes dryers comprise nearly 6 percent of the electricity used by U.S. households and can cost around $1,530 in energy bills over the machine's lifetime. Check out Project Laundry List's detailed calculator to find out how much you can save by greening your laundry routine.

If the lure of sun-kissed sheets and lower energy emissions is enough to bring out the rebel in you, then it's time to string up a line. While your delicates dry, read up on how to keep the wrinkles out and which color-bleeding pegs to avoid. But don't toss your dryer sheets just yet -- they're useful in repelling ants and mosquitoes.

--Jordana Fyne

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