One thing my wife commented on during our first years of living in America was, "How can the strongest country in the world have such poor functioning wash machines?" I didn't know the answer then because I rarely thought about how clean my shirt was when my mom cleaned my clothes. But according to the article, America's top load washers all worked very well, according to Consumer Reports, in the 1980s. Since then, because top load washers are not allowed to use as much water as they used to, they don't function very well. Front load washers function better, but they, too, are limited in their washing ability because of environmental laws.
I think this discussion about the effects of environmental laws on the quality of life is an interesting one to have with teenagers. Teenagers tend to be idealistic and are more readily to agree with laws that clean up the environment, especially if they are not the ones doing the laundry and buying the clothes. I would be curious how they would think about the quality of life diminishing in order to somehow benefit the environment.