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Photograph courtesy of Boston.com
Vermont has passed a Right to Dry law. It is amazing to me that we have to legislate these kinds of things, especially in a state where you cannot turn around without bumping into someone who is pro-environment or spouting “green-ness”. This law gives those that live in condominiums and apartment units the right to air dry their clothes and install clothes lines or clothes drying racks. Evidently, this has proven difficult for these homeowners since condominium associations can control all sorts of things and evidently refuse to believe that air drying clothing is a good thing. Rather, for many, especially those that live in more urban environments, where a lot of these condo associations must have been from, air drying clothing is considered a sign of poverty. No one wants clothes hanging outside of multi million dollar condominium units, hence the “no drying” rules. Here in New England and particularly in Vermont, air drying takes on a new and different meaning. Here it is not a sign of poverty, but rather a sign of environmental consciousness. A symbol yet again of Yankee frugality – why pay money for electricity or propane to dry clothes when the sunshine is perfectly free? Statistics demonstrate that approximately 15% of a household’s energy usage goes to drying clothes.
We have had a dryer rack for a number of years which we purchased at the unfinished wood store in Manchester, Vermont and used while we lived in NJ. Although I admit that I don’t dry everything on it, there is something to be said for the smell of fresh air dried clothing. I am glad to see that everyone, no matter where you live in Vermont, has the right to enjoy that same thing.
While Vermont is at the forefront of a lot of things, this law wasn’t one of them. Florida passed the first “Right to Dry” law.