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Residence halls working to provide sustainable options in the laundry room

The Residence Hall Association (RHA) has recently begun to provide drying racks for the residence halls in order to provide more sustainable (and cheaper!) laundry options to students.

Sustainability Coordinator for RHA, Jordan Glasgow, has been working hard to provide drying racks to all the residence halls and, so far, everything is going as planned.

“I haven’t had any obstacles with the drying racks. Everyone seems very excited about the project,” Glasgow said. “It’s just about organizing everyone into one group at this point.”

Tina Casagrand, former Sustain Mizzou president and current Footprint Magazine editor, originally started the drying rack program in 2009. It was inspired by the efforts of Pomona College and an article in the New York Times titled, Rethinking Laundry in the 21st Century. The program purchased 20 drying racks for use in the residence halls using money from the Student Sustainable Initiatives Fund and the RHA.

Sustain Mizzou put out an excellent guide for students here Whites, Darks and Green. Drying racks are already available for free checkout in Schurz, Hatch, College Avenue, Excellence and South halls, and the program is experiencing su ccess in these places.

“I don’t have any specific numbers on usage. I do know that they have been very successful with proper advertising,” Glasgow said. RHA is now working to spread the program to the other halls.

“The goal right now [is] finding funding for everything,” Glasgow said. “Everything has to come from the sustainability budget.”

With each load of laundry costing $1.25, it is much more cost efficient for students to use drying racks instead. Most students save at least $5 a month when using drying racks instead of a dryer.

“I brought a drying rack because laundry here is v ery expensive and it saves me a lot of money,” Brandon Weiss, a freshman living in Schurz Hall, said. “It’s also nice when it rains and you can just hang your clothes to dry instead of having to go all the way downstairs to dry them,”

While air-drying clothes does take longer, many people are unaware of the other benefits that come from using drying racks.

“On move in day when everyone was moving in and I walked to Hearnes Center, It was pouring down rain and everything I was wearing was drenched, but I hung it up and it dried for free,” Weiss said.

Air-drying clothes reduces the chances of shrinking, keeps clothes less wrinkled and helps them last longer.

Sometimes clothes can seem less soft when air-dried, but this can generally be avoided by using less detergent.

For those not living in residence halls, drying racks can be purchased at almost any store. Some are available for off-campus students from the Sustainability Office.

Other Tips for Greener Laundry: -Use cold water -Only wash full loads -Clean out the lint screen -Lose the fabric softener and dryer sheets

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