Clotheslines or dryer?

Interesting read in the Times today by a number of people who are discussing the environmental and practical issues related to clothes drying. Obviously not everyone is going to find this one a thriller but it’s interesting to see how different people view clothes drying. Like many (most, probably) Americans I grew up with a dryer. I bought one when I moved to Paris and wondered how the heck those nutty French did without one. Even though I observed plenty of people who could buy one (at least) but didn’t, I still swore by my dryer.

Paris is miserably humid which means clothes can take a day, sometimes more to dry. And besides, who really wants one of those fold out dryers clogging up a room? During our own financial crisis a few years back our trusted dryer stopped being trustworthy. As much as I wanted to buy another it was going the way of the TV that died and would never be replaced. We simply didn’t have the spare cash to buy another so we bought a used fold out drying rack and never looked back.

It’s still ugly in the room and yes, it can take time but we notice the lower energy costs. We also notice our clothes last a lot longer since they’re not being trashed by the dryer. It took a while but now I finally see why few people bother to buy the energy sucking beasts. Where it could easily get more challenging though is in a larger household with more than two people. People do it, but it has to be a bit more tricky keeping the process moving.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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