Missouri State University’s Free Enterprise Center has installed new devices in its restrooms to help cut down on the spread of germs, expenses and garbage.

The product, called StepNPull, is a foot-operated door opener that allows you to avoid the door handle by using your foot. Nick Simmonds, digital media manager for StepNPull, said that the product is expected to appear in more buildings on campus in the near future.

“(The product) is manufactured locally in the Ozarks, and our office is in the eFactory, which is a Missouri State building,” Simmonds, senior management major, said. “They do have StepNPull in the eFactory, but not everywhere on campus yet.”

Simmonds also said that if the product spreads to more MSU buildings, campus will be more sustainable, easier on the environment and less expensive in maintenance of facilities and restrooms.

“Campus would mostly be impacted by the fact that StepNPull allows students and staff to avoid germs on door handles,” Simmonds said. “Meaning fewer chances for (illnesses) to spread on campus. More importantly, though, it would save on paper towel costs when paired with an efficient hand dryer.”

Several of Missouri State’s buildings have made steps toward increased sustainability and decreased waste products by utilizing things like hand dryers, automatic sinks and toilets, and motion-sensitive doors. Students and faculty alike have expressed appreciation and encouragement for a low-energy, environmentally-friendly campus.

“The restrooms in Glass Hall are completely hands-free, except for the door handle on the way out,” Simmonds said. “People double up on paper towels after washing their hands and use them for opening the door as well –– this adds up and is very wasteful. My next step will be working with the sustainability chair in the Student Government Association to try to propose StepNPull in their meetings.”

In addition to bringing more products to campus, the StepNPull manufacturers are looking for MSU students to get involved from inside the company as well.

“My bosses are looking to drive sales and increase marketing efforts by hiring college interns who believe in the brand and are motivated to promote the product,” Simmonds said. “I started off as their first intern, now a full staff employee, and we had the idea to use StepNPull to give younger people experience through interning, while growing our brand at the same time.”