Drying Rack Pilot
In 2014-15, a team of student Eco Facilitators successfully piloted communal drying racks in one dorm.
This project aimed to reduce dryer usage by providing drying racks for clothing. Before the drying racks were introduced, six people reported using drying racks; following implementation at least 15 people used the racks at least once (many people used the racks but did not sign them out, as reported in a follow-up survey). There was a small but corresponding decrease in dryer usage by about 5% between the fall and spring (489 to 463 uses). The largest project challenge was a poor response rate for the sign-out sheet and follow-up survey. Overall, students were receptive to the drying racks and several expressed interest in purchasing their own racks, but the high costs may be an impediment.
It was relatively easy - students bought drying racks through the Sustainability Office, then worked with Res Life for a storage location. There was a sign-out sheet near the racks, and people returned all of the racks each time.
MISTAKES & LESSONS LEARNED
Start this at the beginning of the year, so that people get in the habit of drying with a drying rack right away, rather than trying to end dryer usage.
We're considering expanding this program to other dorms (these racks are study, but a bit pricey if we order a lot), and/or running a sale to let people buy them inexpensively.