Students from sustainability organization Green Campus have collaborated with University Housing to collect unwanted, reusable items during Poly Canyon Village’s (PCV) move-out in order to reduce Cal Poly’s carbon footprint. These items will be resold at a sale during official move-in dates next school year.
“Ever since I started [at Cal Poly], I have heard about how horrendous the waste can be at move out, with perfectly good items ending up in landfill bins,” Sustainability Coordinator Kylee Singh said. “When they come back in the fall, they end up buying that stuff at Target and it creates a lot of plastic waste.”
On June 9-13, Green Campus, along with volunteers, will collect donations from students moving out of their apartments in PCV and store them in storage units provided by housing. These donations will include items that can be reused and do not have any sanitation issues, such as shower racks, chairs and mirrors.
“We will send out an email to Poly Canyon Village residents, and we’ll have signs out educating residents about this opportunity. During Move-Out, there will be volunteers monitoring the recycle bins and encouraging residents to donate at the select locations,” Assistant Director of Facility Operations and Sustainability Suzanne LaCaro wrote in an email.
The donated items collected will be resold next year at CPThrift, an event where students can purchase these items on campus Sept. 14-19 during designated move-in times.
The process of saving these donated items is called upcycling, which Green Campus will be completing with volunteers filling over 100 two-hour shifts.
Volunteers will be divided into two crews: collections and upcycling. The collections crew will be placed at donation carts at PCV and will take donations to sort through and decide which of them can be resold. The upcycling crew will be at the storage unit at PCV to log data and prepare for the resale fair by organizing the unit.
“In the end, we are saving so much more waste,” Green Campus member and environmental engineering junior Darin Son said.
Son organized this initiative and has reached out to the Sustainability Community, Interfraternity Council, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and other organizations to gain volunteers.
“I would love freshmen and even returning students to know about this thrift shopping experience rather than bombarding Target and the big box stores. When you support something like CPThrift, you eliminate all the packaging and one more product that has to be made in China and shipped overseas,” Singh said. “The impacts of reducing not only the product, but also the greenhouse gas emissions from all the other pieces of that, are pretty huge.”