End the Cycle- Sustainable Laundry Campaign

Project Leads: Kimberly Lam & Morwenna Rowe

Sponsors: PowerSave Campus & Residential Student Services Program (RSSP)

PowerSaveTGIF Grant: $3,100

Project Theme: Water Conservation & Tap Water

Project Location

2010 Application Submission

Application Metrics

Status: Complete

Project Description: PowerSave Campus, a student-run internship program that works to increase campus sustainability by bridging the gap between students and institutional energy costs, created an educational sustainable laundry campaign for students living in UC Berkeley residence halls and Family Student Housing. The Laundry Campaign educated students about how they can reduce their carbon and water footprints by altering their laundry habits.

Goals: Design and post static-cling laundry machine stickers that encourage machine users to use cold water/bright color settings and to air dry clothes when possible. Design and post large educational posters with sustainable laundry tips for laundry room bulletin boards. Conduct pre-and post-implementation laundry surveys of residents to measure any changes in laundry habits. Raffle off cold-water detergent to residents. Assist campus in reaching Cal-CAP goals but encouraging residents to reduce water, electricity, and steam consumption. Outreach to at least 1000 students and have 50% of those currently using hot water settings switch to cold water settings.

Educational outreach will consist of three components:

  1. Laundry Tips Posters in all laundry rooms
  2. Static-Cling Stickers on every washing machine to encourage the cold water setting to save energy.
  3. Tabling in Dining Halls to collect pre- and post-implementation surveys, and publicize the campaign with giveaways and activities.

TGIF Blog Posts about End the Cycle

Project Posters

2011 2012

2010-2011 Accomplishments:

  • The project team conducted 207 pre-surveys in the Cal Greek Community, covering both sororities and fraternities.
    • According to the team's surveys, 86.53% of campus loads are NOT done with the coldest setting (bright colors). Based on the team's calculations, if this percentage of loads were switched to washing on the bright colors setting, the campus could significantly save water, energy, and money.
  • The project team presented at "Greeks Go Green" event in Fall 2010. 
  • The team designed and ordered 500 static-cling machine stickers.
  • The team received eco-friendly laundry detergent samples from Vaska for giveaways.
  • The team created bi-lingual pre-surveys for Family Housing to be sent out in Fall 2011.
  • The project team calculated potential savings for both the Residential Halls and Student Family Housing (see example of potential savings below).

Residential Halls:
Approximately 6600 students for the school year (8 months), one load / week:
(6,600 students) (8 months) (4.27 weeks / month) (1 load / week) = 225,456 loads / school year
(225,456)(.8653)(1.0764) = 209,992.916 lbs CO2/yr avoided if all non-coldest setting now coldest setting

If "End the Cycle" reaches its target of 50% of the not-coldest-setting loads now washed in the coldest setting:
(224,456)(.8653)(0.5)(0.080054) = 7,774.115 therms = $7,774.12 savings
(224,456)(.8653)(0.5)(1.0764) = 104,540.16 lbs CO2/yr avoided

Next Steps: After finishing designing the laundry stickers, "End the Cycle" was notified by RSSP that all campus residence halls were getting brand new washing machines that had a different control panel design. Because of this, "End the Cycle" will need to: 1. Obtain new machine model's settings data to recalculate potential savings; 2. Redesign sticker to correspond to new control panel; 3. Send out pre-implementation surveys (English, Chinese, Spanish) to Student Family Housing and collect survey results; 4. Calculate new potential water and energy savings; 5. Order new laundry stickers and post on machines.

2010-2011 Year-End Report

2011-2012 Accomplishments

  • Installation of Laundry Tip Stickers and Posters


Laundry Sticker

Completed Posters Stickers
Unit 1 14 36
Unit 2 14 36
Unit 3 5 18
Foothill, Stern, Bowles 6 30
Clark Kerr 8 23
University Village 28 139
Smyth-Fernwald 4 13
Other Graduate Housing 7 23
International House 3 10
Sororities & Fraternities 12 24
TOTAL 101 352


  • The project team presented at the "Greeks Go Green" event in Fall 2011 and posted the Laundry Tips posters in over 20 sorority and fraternity houses.
  • Green Campus intern Felicia Tan designed the new static-cling stickers and laundry tips posters. The static-cling stickers were produced by Maverick Labels under-budget, and the 18x24" laminated Laundry Tips posters were printed and bike-delivered by the local and green printing company Inkworks.
  • WASH Laundry generously donated raffle prizes for pre- and post-implementation surveys participants at University Village, including four $25 laundry credit gift cards and an iPod Nano.
  • Vaska, an environmentally-sound laundry detergent company based in Berkeley, donated over 300 cold-water detergent samples and 10 full-size laundry and household cleaning products, which helped entice more survey participants.
  • Tabled in the dining halls and in the residence halls during PowerSave Campus Blackout Battles.
  • Having already translated the online surveys into Spanish in 2010, the project leaders worked with a small team of residents in University Village to translate the surveys in Chinese and Korean.
  • Collected 813 completed surveys before and after project implementation to calculate metrics.


Completed Residence Halls Family Housing TOTAL
Pre-Survey 153 342 495
Post-Survey 135 183 318


  • Based on pre- and post-implementation surveys, most residents in the traditional residence halls as well as in the graduate and family housing were aware of the Sustainable Laundry Tips posters and washing machine static-cling stickers. An average of 66% of respondents considered changing their laundry habits after seeing the Sustainable Laundry Campaign.


Have you... Residence Halls Family Housing Average
Seen Laundry Posters? 80.8% 85.90% 83.35%
Seen Laundry Stickers? 77.50% 69.70% 73.60%
Considered Changing Habits? 72.80% 58.90% 65.85%


Change in Laundry Behavior from
Pre-Survey to Post-Survey 
Residence Halls Family Housing
% Using Cold Wash Setting +5.9% +9.8%
% Using Delicates Setting +11.3% +3.6%
% Air Drying +0.6% +3.7%


  • The following savings are based on data and calculations that can be found in the Final Report:
Annual Projected Savings Residence Halls Family Housing TOTAL
Therms 540 425.8 965.8
kWh 768.76 1,216.13 1,984.89
$ Saved 624 558.35 $1,182
CO2 (lbs) Avoided 7,672.74 5,361.80 13,034.54

2012 Project Photos

Final Report

Laundry Tips Poster

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.