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Sustainable Swapping

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching, which means students will be cleaning out their rooms, apartments and houses. It also means they will be throwing all sorts of unnecessary belongings into the dumpster. In an effort to reduce waste, students were encouraged to bring their unwanted items to the Sustainability Swap Shop, an event that took place at St. Ben’s on Monday. The Swap Shop was put on by the St. Ben’s Senate, but they also partnered with the St. Ben’s Sustainability Office, the Sustainability Alliance and some of the eco houses on campus. It is an annual event that was started by CSB senior Madeline Hansen three years ago.

“When I was moving out my freshman year, I noticed that there was all this stuff in the dumpster and (the Sustainability Swap Shop) seemed like a good way to reduce waste,” Hansen said.

Students brought in items that they are looking to get rid of the evening before the Swap Shop, and then on the night of the Swap Shop people took whatever they wanted and/or needed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Steph Pinkalla, the Sustainability Representative for the St. Ben’s Senate, said that when students drop something off, there is an understanding that they are donating it.

“We feel that students should be able to have the things that are available to them here. We have the Swap Shop set up this way because we don’t want to restrict students by making them pay for anything,” Pinkalla said.

Students can bring in all sorts of objects that they do not have a need for anymore. Pinkalla commented that some of her favorite items donated were lava lamps and board games, but they also received many purses, bags, chairs, clothes and school supplies.

Dan Anfinson, a junior at St. John’s, said that he was able to find things like arts and crafts, a picture frame and sunglasses at the Sustainability Swap Shop.

“I really like the idea [of a swap shop],” Anfinson said.

Catherine Pollock, a senior at St. Ben’s, was able to find all sorts of trinkets, too.

“(I found) a water bottle, a picture frame, a pair of gloves and a bag,” Pollock said.

Similar to Afinson, Pollock appreciates the concept of the Swap Shop and would like to see it continue in the future.

“I think it’s great to have people’s trash be reused rather than just thrown away. It’s also really cool that you don’t have to pay,” Pollock said.