Saturday, January 26, 2008

Right to Dry?

"The clothesline, a simple line of either rope, wire or something similar that is string like. The clotheslines can either be the traditional wire and pulley or in the 'tree format.'" - Michael Suddard, June 17, 2007.

Just under a year ago I wrote about the ongoing push for the right to dry your laundry outside. Whoever thought a battle would have to occur in order for a homeowner to simply install a pully and some wire to hang ones laundry outside.

"I find it ironic that in 2008, we have to ask for legislative change to ask us to put up a line and two hooks in someone’s back yard,”- Phyllis Morris, Mayor of Aurora in the Era-Banner January 23, 2008.

Before the turn of the 20th century nobody would have thought of any other way to dry one's cotton, wool, linen or polyester garments. However, with advent of electricity and the electric clothes dryer thinks have changed. Hoady toadies who wish to live in sprawling suburbs, drive Hummers and the like, complain they don't want to see their neighbour's laundry in the breeze. If that is the case, then there is a simple solution. Put in a nice high hedge or a fence would solve this problem because if you can't stand your neighbour's laundry blowing in the breeze, chances are you can't stand your neighbour!

"Some might scoff and say the provincial government has to study the issue." - Michael Suddard, June 16, 2007.

Well the government, a year later after this issue was brought forth by Aurora's Mayor Phyllis Morris and further illumnated by the press, the province is finally studying the issue of, HORRORS, letting people dry their laundry outdoors.

The province of Ontario has started to look into the issue:

"The long-promised move got one step closer today when [Energy Minister Gerry] Phillips announced a 60-day consultation period to determine how best to proceed." -- Toronto Star, January 21, 2008.

Philips goes onto note that a mere laundry drier may consume up to six percent of the average household's annual power budget. Imagine the savings of merely hanging out your laundry outside. Add to this a conversion, wherever possible, of your lighting to CFL bulbs and electrical savings only increases further!

But lets backtrack here a bit to last summer. In true government form, a good idea takes forever to come to fruition. Last summer, the Mayor of Aurora met up with Ontario's chief conservation officer. Ms. Morris laid out the argument for the right to put out a clothes line and the legal problems one might face in doing so.

Almost a year later, the provincial government is finally ready to seek public comment. There was not a peep since last summer form the provincial government on this issue. This despite there being a provincial election in October 2007 and the environment being a key concern to many in Ontario. Instead, during the last provincial election all voters heard politicians arguing about was whether a Muslim, Catholic or Jewish child was able to have the right to go to a publicly funded denominational school! Environmental issues were merely swept to the sidelines despite their being a big worry of global warming.

The Liberal government should be ashamed to let this issue drag on without a peep. Something like "the Ministry of Energy is currently researching the issue and will be bringing forth something in the new year for public comment and fine tuning" would have sufficed. Even better would have been a date when something was expeted to b released. Instead, the public heard nothing except crickets on this issue from both the politicians and the provincial bureaucrats.

What's even more of a shame is the province has dragged its feet on enviromental issues that have laws blocking simple common sense like being able to dry one's clothes outside for far too long. Issues like removing simple rules that block positive conservation efforts and reduce the amount of electricty required should be simple no brainer items. But of course that would be common sense, and of course as we all know, the words common sense, bureaucrats and government should never be used in the same sentence.

Finally some more common sense:

"Residents should be encouraged to use their clothes dryers less and their clotheslines more. Clotheslines reduce the amount of electricity consumed and, thus, greenhouse gases and other pollutants emanating from fossil fueled generating stations. Besides the most obvious positives for the environment, will the governments think of the children? All children should enjoy being a little mischievous by being able to run threw the drying laundry on the line. About the only downside of this issue is the mother's blood pressure when they see some muddy hand prints in the freshly laundered bed sheets. But a little high blood pressure is so little a sacrifice in comparison to saving the environment."
-Michael Suddard, June 16, 2007.

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