I learned a shocking fact today in Allison Arieff’s opinion piece in the New York Times this morning. According to Arieff, 40% of homeowners associations in the United States forbid the use of clotheslines to dry clothes. She also brought to my attention the fabulous advocacy group Project Laundry List. Of course, there is one small problem with this site’s Top 10 Reasons to Hang Out Your Clothes list on its front page. Reason number five is “Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.” This may very well be true, however, the hypertext citation they give takes you to the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. This first quote on the Institute’s page is from Justice Louis Brandeis from 1933:
Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.
I think that Brandeis meant a more metaphorical sunlight when he was commenting on the virtues of investigative journalism. Perhaps we had better find a better citation for the disinfectant properties of sunlight.
Great site and great cause nonetheless. Hanging up your clothes is a great way to save 5% on your home energy consumption.