Well, classes are over, the 2013 graduates have started their celebrations, and the Fontbonne dorms have pretty much cleared out of most of their residents – myself included. But since I stayed longer than most, I was able to witness first hand as the other students slowly trickled out over the past couple of weeks. The thing that stood out most was the sheer amount of STUFF that people accumulated throughout the year in their room. I’m by no means exempt from this, either. It seems like every time I try to move back home my material possessions quadruple. But I dutifully either pack them up in a trunk, give them away to friends, or donate them to a good cause.
This year, though, I went a step further. As a firm believer in the classic mantra, “Reduce/Reuse/Recycle”, I try to avoid throwing things out if at all possible. So you can understand my agony as I see things like bags of clothes, working roller skates, life sized teddy bears, and plush purple ottomans abandoned in the hallways by people who either no longer want them or simply don’t have the room to take them home. Since there was no clear donation box in the halls this semester, I took it upon myself to gather up as much as I could. Call me crazy, but even saving a small amount from the landfill is worth it in my book.
I gathered up a decent amount of items, which I gave to my friend for his yard sale (along with a few unwanted items of my own). I know I didn’t save everything before it ended up in the dumpster, but I’m still glad I tried. Next year, though, I’m planning on an Environmental Club/Residence Hall Association collaboration to get GoodWill donation boxes in the halls for people’s unwanted items. I know that in the rush and stress of moving out, it’s hard for people to seriously consider the future of the things left for the trash and the consequences they have in a landfill. So it’s important to make reducing and reusing as easy as possible. We can’t keep everything from being trashed, but we can certainly do our best!