By: Skyler Roeshot, Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale Intern
Every year in May students at IU move away from Bloomington, and in mid August, students move back on to campus. During the final week of spring semester, many students are faced with the challenges of studying and taking finals and moving out of their dorm, house or apartment all in the same week. If you are like me, finals week usually comes complete with one or two all-nighters and lots of stress; the last thing I want to do is pack up all the stuff I still need and figure out a good home for the rest. Hoosier to Hoosier (H2H) is a reuse program that aims to 1) divert reusable items from the landfill during student move-out, 2) prevent additional resource consumption by selling collected items to student and community members and 3) raise funds for local charities and other organizations. This year, the H2H coordinators are aiming to get the IU and Bloomington communities to start thinking about their waste and their consumption all year round.
As the H2H Community sale intern, I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of the Sycamore Ridge Landfill. This is the landfill where the waste from IU and the city of Bloomington goes. The landfill is in Pimento, IN, just south of Terre Haute, 54.5 miles from Bloomington. That’s a long trip for all of your trash to take in inefficient garbage trucks! This experience was so powerful that it’s hard to find words to explain it. Standing atop of one of the still open landfills and rotating 360°, for almost as far as you can see, are landfills that are already covered; mountains of trash all around you. I took these pictures to show what I can’t seem to put into words.
This year, start thinking about what to do with your stuff early. If you have a couch you don’t need any more, talk to a friend and see if they might want it for next year. Bring that unwanted end-table to Goodwill or one of the other thrift stores in the area. We urge you to do whatever you can to find an alternative use for something you may think of as trash. Check out the H2H pinterest site and facebook page for great ideas on how to make your trash into treasure. If you can’t find something to do with that used furniture or clothing, donate it to H2H. Whatever you do, please don’t dump it in your dumpster.
Finally, if you are interested in volunteering with H2H and are interested in reducing the waste created on the IU campus we would love to have you at one of our volunteer callout meetings THIS WEEK!
When: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 5:30 PM
Where: E-House, 704 E. 10th Street
When: Thursday, January 17, 2013 @ 5:30 PM
Where: Monroe County Public Library, Room 1C
Both meetings will be identical in content, so no need to come to both. We want as many members of the community as possible involved in our efforts to reduce waste. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.