Each year in honor of Earth Week, the ReUse Store, a pop-up shop allowing students to leave unwanted items or pick up a hidden treasure for no cost, is set up on campus to spread awareness of sustainability. It was set up again during Earth Week on the Rock on Tuesday.
A project of the Green Committee — a committee started by Student Government’s Energy and Conservation Organization (ECO) — the ReUse Store focuses on decreasing waste and increasing sustainability by recycling unwanted goods that others might find useful. It is the committee’s alternative to throwing away unwanted thrift store-like items from clothing and shoes to miscellaneous treasures like vinyl records and instant coffee.
“Every year we get a lot of success and everyone enjoys it, so we keep doing it,” said senior Eva Muszynski, head of the Green Committee. “The most common people you see here are faculty and staff, more than the students … The ReUse Store is not just for students; it’s for the whole community of UM.”
Whether it’s unused hangers or old book bags, students are able to bring whatever they don’t want anymore and donate it to the organization, and take anything that catches their eye that was left behind by someone else. At the end of the day, all merchandise leftover is donated directly to Goodwill.
The store’s concept isn’t a new idea. ReUse has been around since spring 2013, when it was started by an ECO board member at the time. The store is usually set up once a year in the spring during Earth Week. However, this year, the Green Committee wanted to host the store twice to spread the word. On April 6, the store was set up at the farmer’s market in front of Richter Library. As the store gets more visitors, the board will keep hosting it around campus, Muszynski said.
Feature image courtesy Pixabay user 9355.