Northwestern Eco-Reps organizes drive for unwanted items

Students visit a clothing and household items drive Friday in Norris University Center. Eco-Reps held the drive in an attempt to reduce landfill waste.

Ally Mutnick/Daily Senior Staffer

Students visit a clothing and household items drive Friday in Norris University Center. Eco-Reps held the drive in an attempt to reduce landfill waste.

Rebecca Savransky, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern Eco-Reps, a campus sustainability organization, organized an event Friday aimed to divert old clothing away from landfills and to create an opportunity for students to donate unwanted items.

The “Take It or Leave It” event, held in Norris University Center’s Wildcat Room, accumulated about 100 donations, said Deborah Teng, an event organizer. About 80 percent of the items were clothing and the remainder included a variety of household items, she added.

“All our Eco-Reps on campus put boxes out so residents could donate but we also had a lot of off-campus people bring in items during the event,” the McCormick senior said. “We had the entire Wildcat Room and each table was pretty packed with the items.”

Organized under sustainNU, the University’s Office of Sustainability, Northwestern Eco-Reps raises awareness and sponsors events to create a more sustainable environment.

Teng said the leftover clothing was donated to the Dance Marathon “Thrift Shop,” an event organized to give participants the opportunity to buy clothing to match the different block themes. This is the first year DM is hosting such an event, and all proceeds will be donated to the DM beneficiary, said Emily Blumberg, DM special events co-chair.

Blumberg said the informal partnership with Northwestern Eco-Reps was created to garner additional merchandise for the “Thrift Shop” and increase the amount of money for the beneficiary.

“They were saying how they were going to donate it at the end of the day anyway,” the Weinberg senior said. “We said we’d love to sell it for DM, and they were very helpful and open to it.”

The items left over after DM will then be given back to Unique Thrift Store, which donated several large bags of items to the cause, Blumberg said.

Similar drives organized in the past through sustainNU were done at the end of the year when students are moving out of residences, Teng said. Last year, boxes were put in residence hall lobbies and students could donate anything they no longer wanted, she said.

Teng said they decided to hold the event during Winter Quarter because they wanted to give students the opportunity to clean out their winder wardrobe in preparation for spring. This event could also appeal to off-campus students, Teng said.

“We decided it’d be cool to have it during the winter this year so people could get new clothes for spring,” she said. “We decided to do the same idea but moved ahead and did it university wide.”

Northwestern Eco-Reps still plans to hold a similar event at the end of the year and are using this mid-year drive as a marketing push in hopes more students will donate in the spring instead of throwing out old items, Teng said.

“We wanted people to hear the name more and be able to recognize it,” she said.

Teng said the group marketed the event in the residence halls and through social media, including the Facebook group “Free and For Sale.”

She said she was happy with the turnout and is hoping the event continues next year.

“A lot of people were excited to be able to come in and take a look at different items,” Teng said. “They seemed very excited to be able to donate something and know it was donated to a good cause.”

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