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By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012

Recycle symbol
We should all know the three R’s of being green: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. There is a strong emphasis on how to reduce and recycle on campus by doing things like printing double sided, limiting energy use, and using the blue recycling bins around campus, but many people are unaware of the programs available to help you reuse.

The Office Swap program allows faculty and staff to connect and help turn one office’s trash into another’s treasure. It encourages people to post office supplies that they may have in surplus or are just getting rid of and also to post things that they are looking for. Goods are simply transferred to where they are needed instead of being thrown out, which saves your department time and money! All posted goods are meant to be free for other offices to claim, but salvage credit is available. The best part about the Office Swap program is that it is as easy as using a Google document! Please email the Sustainability Office at sustainability@colgate.edu if you would like more information about how to get access or use the Office Swap program.

If you are looking to buy or sell something that is not office related, there is also a program for that, the Gate Swap program. Gate Swap is a website that allows people to post anything that they wish to get rid of from textbooks to cellphones to shoes. You can also post wanted items and list an asking price for your goods. Check it out at www.gateswap.com for more information.

Nextdoor Hamilton is an Internet resource for buying, selling, giving away, and communicating with only Hamilton residents. Nextdoor Hamilton is a private social network just for Hamilton. Already, nearly 800 Hamilton households have joined. It’s free. Visit Nextdoor Hamilton, verify your address, and start connecting!

Some other places to buy and sell used goods are Craigslist if you need to access a slightly broader location, Worn Again for clothing (now located in Parry’s and open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays 10am-4pm), and the university Salvage warehouse for furniture and electronics.

With so many options available the need to buy new is greatly reduced. By reusing previously made good it cuts back on all associated emissions of production. It takes 400 gallons of water to make one new cotton t-shirt and zero for a shirt from a thrift store. So, before you throw it out see if you can find a way to reuse or better yet resell it!

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