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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

Sycamore restaurant provides locally-obtained food

Good lighting? Check. Pleasant atmosphere? You bet. Locally grown food? Without a doubt.

Sycamore is a restaurant located in downtown Columbia on the corner of 8th and Broadway (next to Hot Box Cookies). The restaurant offers locally-obtained food, without sacrificing any of the taste.

Sycamore strives to ‘provide fresh, market-driven foods at affordable prices.’ While a starving college student could dispute the affordable part (all entrées cost more than $20), Sycamore provides a healthy meal coupled with an atmosphere that can give students a bit of a ‘high-dining’ feeling.

Because of the ever-changing food market, Sycamore frequently changes their menu to incorporate seasonal produce.

The menu is bordered with a list of the various suppliers and farms that Sycamore purchases their ingredients from. These places include: Missouri Legacy Beef, Pierpont farms, Chert Hollow Farms, Goatsbeard Farm, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Uprise Bakery, and Sparky’s, among many others.

Missouri Legacy Beef boasts free-range, and grass-fed cattle, and the Pierpont farms are located a mere 15 minutes south of downtown Columbia. Sparky’s is a popular ice creamery also located downtown.

Goatsbeard Farm also seems to be a strong point on the menu, with a handful of dishes containing their cheeses, and the cheese plate featuring the Goatsbeard Farm products is served with crispy buttermilk crackers and a fig-walnut pesto that compliments the cheeses well.

Sycamore serves a variety of seafood ranging from scallops to trout. The salmon was served over two crispy potato lefses and a sweet applesauce that provided an interesting pallet of flavors and a well-balanced meal.

For the vegetarians, Sycamore currently offers house-made gnocchi, fried yellow tomatoes, an array of salads and the ever-reliable Parmesan Fry basket.

With a menu of only one page, Sycamore lacks the variety most restaurants have. While this may cause a pickier eater to struggle while selecting a meal, it is also a testament to the local nature of their ingredients.