Like a typical college student, much of my life here at IU is rushed, dependent on a deadline, and last-minute, often resulting in a feeling of no control, even over little things. This is why sometimes on a Saturday afternoon, even making time to clean my room is weirdly comforting. Taking homework breaks to exert any amount of control over small things like this leaves me feeling reinvigorated. While assuming that everyone reading this blog is similar to me in this aspect is a dubious deduction, I hope that the following guidelines help a few of you to take control over an approaching event in all of our lives—cleaning up and moving out.
Every year, thousands of students flee Bloomington May through July, often in our stereotypical student hurry, without thinking about the consequences of what we leave behind. But in fact, the often-reusable waste that we leave behind affects many people—from property managers who have to remove it, city visitors who form impressions based on curbs filled with couches, and even you, who has to breathe air dirtied by the trucks carrying your reusable goods to the landfill 60 miles away in trucks that get 6 mpg.
The solution: think about and plan your move-out ahead of time. That’s it. Start today—just think about what you probably won’t have room to take away with you. Microwaves, plastic drawers, lamps, clothes you don’t wear, etc. aren’t always the most sensible things to cram into that U-Haul after a year at school. Next, a couple of weeks before your big move-out date, just clean your room and put all of the things you’d be better off donating or leaving behind in a designated location.
If you live in the dorms, donation boxes for the Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale go out in the center areas by April 22nd, and if you live off-campus, drop your stuff at the Gladstein Fieldhouse (here) on May 7th or email firstname.lastname@example.org a week or so ahead of time to arrange a pick-up.
This event, a coordinated effort between Indiana University and the City of Bloomington to be held August 11th this year, not only diverts tons of reusable items from the landfill but the money raised also goes almost exclusively to local non-profit organizations. The Hoosier to Hoosier committees are not just asking for donations, we’re trying to fix the problem of residents not being in the mindset to think of the environmental consequences of their purchases and move-out decisions alike. So think ahead this spring or summer, do your part, and green your move-out by ensuring that nothing reusable goes to that landfill. Because in the end, living sustainably is really just a way of thinking and living.
Written by Erica Bramlet, Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale Coordinator with the Office of Sustainability
If you’re interested in volunteering with the collection or sale efforts, sign up here.