If you’re a college student and looking for a way to get involved in helping your campus go green, here’s one great idea: create a freecycle store. That’s exactly what the Earth CORPS group at Mills College in Oakland, California, did. The students in the group realized that many students, especially those who were moving back home and didn’t have space to take a lot of things, simply threw away stuff they had purchased over the course of the year. These items included things like stereos, cooking items, small televisions, computer equipment, and more.
Almost all of these pieces of equipment were in perfect working order. Why, then, the Earth CORPS students wondered, were they being tossed in the garbage and being sent off to landfills? It seemed like a waste, and so they decided to open a freecycle store. The point of a freecycle store is that, instead of throwing away all of that good stuff, the students bring it to the store. Then other students can come into the Reuse Store, as the Mills College group calls it, and select items they’d like to have. There is no charge.
Earth CORPS takes their Reuse Store one step farther, however, and allows community members to take items that they need as well. Community members and students alike find themselves looking through different holiday decorations, equipment, phone chargers, and even some designer clothes and other expensive things. School supplies, of course, are in high demand, but they are also the top donated item.
The students at Mills College modeled their Reuse Store after a similar store located at Berkeley. When setting up the store, they didn’t go out and buy new tables or shelves. Instead, they visited a local landfill and gathered wood and other items, plus some bookshelves and tables were donated from other campus departments that no longer needed them.