Every year, college students across the US throw away millions of good quality, functional dormitory items when they move out. Year after year, dumpsters fill up during finals with great clothes, furniture, and appliances that are perfectly reusable. Countless schools have acknowledged this problem, creating various programs to reduce their carbon footprint over move-out. Furman is just getting started with the Paladin Pickers program that will be beginning in April!
The basis of Paladin Pickers is to collect students’ dorm furniture, decorations, school supplies, etc., store them over the summer, and offer a yard sale at very low prices during new student orientation in August. We think that this is the best way to reduce waste and help Furman students. The photo featured above is a similar style sale at Colorado State University.
This plan gives us three great benefits. The first is that the Furman community will begin to think more sustainably in all ways by imparting a constant message of the importance of sustainability. The second benefit is that we can reduce unnecessary consumption. This will help keep needless packaging out of landfills, but also will improve our habits of reuse and recycling, and will save students money on dorm supplies. The third benefit is that all the proceeds will go to cover the cost of the program, and any profits will be going to charity. Not only can we make a positive difference by reducing our waste output, but we can also make a difference in the lives of individual people.
This is the first year we are trying this program, and we are very excited about starting it up. With the potential for a new EcoReps program next year, we will hopefully have a self-sustaining program up and running by the end of the summer. Waste is one of the largest issues regarding sustainability on college campuses, and we are proud to be doing our part to reduce as much waste as possible.