Laundry to Landscape

By Noah Sforza
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ECOS greywater-safe detergent in Pinnacles laundry room. Photo by Noah Sforza.

Here at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), we are looking for new and innovative ways to create a more sustainable campus. This is why we are excited to introduce the new Laundry to Landscape greywater system, which is located in the Pinnacles Suites. A laundry greywater system collects gently used water from washing machines and then this water is used to irrigated a garden outside. The garden will be sustained solely by the greywater system.

This project aligns with California and CSU-wide sustainability goals by reducing water waste, introducing new irrigation systems and drought tolerant plants. In the 2017-2018 academic year, CSUMB used 73 acre feet of water on irrigation alone. This compares to a low (when all irrigation was turned off during the drought) of 26 acre feet in 2015-2016.

The CSU Chancellor’s Office awarded CSU Monterey Bay a $100,000 water efficiency grant. This grant will make it possible to install the plumbing system, outdoor water tanks and the native outdoor garden.

Additionally, Juan Luna Avin, professor of Visual and Performing Arts at CSUMB, with the help of students, created three pieces of artwork that are now displayed in the laundry room. These pieces help visually connect students using the laundry facility with water and the natural environment.

The project was also made possible thanks to a donation made by Earth Friendly Products. Earth Friendly Products donated more than 300 bottles of ECOS greywater safe laundry detergent. This means every student living in Pinnacles Suites received their own free bottle of ECOS greywater safe detergent.

The new Laundry to Landscape system is the fi rst of its kind on campus. It will not only improve how we use our water, but also our community’s environment. We hope the project will inspire students to think creatively about new and innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Thank you to those that have contributed to the project!

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