Just now I wrote this to my neighbours and the estate freeholders, where I live. I can’t justify inconsiderate behaviour anymore, from anyone.
Facebook was my medium of choice for my words.
Dear Brentford Lock West Residents and freeholders,
I write to put forward my view on necessary adjustments to policy and behaviour.
It is currently forbidden to hang washing outside on terraces or balconies. This is an aesthetic measure, designed to ‘ make our estate more pleasant to the eye’. Whilst I agree that aesthetics are a consideration, I believe, indeed know, that changes to what is acceptable and actually now responsible behaviour and policy cannot be delayed.
The ban on using sunlight and wind power for external drying of laundry is against all that is environmentally now obligatory for each and every one of us. We all know that the biggest single user of power in the household is the tumble dryer. Whilst it’s use is arguably justified in the wet and cold months of the year, it is not in the warmer seasons. We can all reduce our individual climate change contribution by drying laundry outside.
I propose that everyone who can, does, making attempts to limit the ‘aesthetic downside’ by hanging washing low down, hidden by balconies and railings where possible. Washing dries at night too, when it is warm, and no one will see your hung washing when it is dark.
I know that this is a measure that cannot be delayed, to work alongside recycling and sensible thermostat adjustment. No one should have their thermostat set higher than 19 degrees centigrade ( this being the recognised acceptable internal temperature ) If people are not warm enough then more clothes are necessary. I myself am paralysed in a wheelchair, with temperature regulation that is broken, yet I already observe the 19 degrees rule.
Of course we would all rather that established rules are still feasible with aesthetics and washing lines etc etc but the aesthetics of large areas of London being underwater ( and Brentford is on a floodplain) through rising tide levels will make seeing your neighbours pants flapping in the wind seem rather insignificant. We all grew up with washing lines being the norm, and none of us were too damaged by the experience.
Please can we have an agreement that lifelong climate change reducing behaviour is absolutely essential, rather than just a politically correct short term measure. It’s really now not negotiable, is it….?