This story is fairly old and overdramatic, as many things are when they finally hit the BBC, but it still pinpoints something about the faded American relationship with practicality that I find interesting.
In Southern California, using a washer and dryer combo is the way to go. Busy people, their busy lives, and the reliance on technology (be it appliances or cars) is How To Live. Despite the fact that we have free sunshine 95% of the year, no one I know dries their clothes outside (and yes, everyone I know has the space to do this). When we moved from our HOA controlled rented townhouse to our free and easy neighbourhood*, we briefly discussed buying a dryer, but ditched the idea in favour of lower bills, more space in the laundry room and spending $10 on a rope, hooks (to make a line between the posts of our porch) and clothespins (pegs!)... and another $20 on a drying rack that can be moved indoors and outdoors.
This setup has worked for an entire year! Without complaints! So we won't be buying a dryer yet. This could change when we have kids, but I doubt it - the washing machine is occupied for a few hours a week at the moment, and there's definitely a greater capacity for usage.
The best part? Standing on a porch in bare feet, listening to hawks scream around the sky in the morning. If you're looking for a little piece of calm, there's nothing like hanging out clothes to dry that will give it to you.
*Although chickens are still not allowed, boo