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Sustainability for sale

The student-created project group, Retriever Treasures, braved the sweltering heat on Wednesday to host their first yard sale. With the goal of reducing waste on campus, the group collected donated items from students moving out of their dorms at the end of the spring semester.

Maddie Dahne, a junior biology and environmental science double major, led the project with her fellow students and enthusiastically sold goods to those passing through the quad on their way to classes.

“Going through the move-out process, we saw that perfectly usable stuff was being thrown away,” Dahne said. “At the end of last year all of the stuff here would have been thrown away.”

They prevented quite a bit of landfill waste. Their donations filled up eight long fold out tables piled high with t-shirts, shoes, lamps, laundry detergent and other dorm room knick-knacks. Plastic storage bins sat underneath each table with even more clothing, comforters and blankets.

The members of Retriever Treasures weren’t shy about calling out to passersby that every item for sale was under $10. Their dedication to the cause was evident as they kept upbeat and friendly attitudes even without tents to shield them from the sun.

Across the pathway, workers took down the many tables and the large tent used for orientation. The metal poles banged loudly on the ground, but the commotion didn’t deter the Retriever Treasures group or the shoppers.

A steady stream of people stopped by the tables to rifle through the goods and purchase new clothes or an item they may have left behind. Some people left empty-handed because it was a cash-only sale. Even so, Retriever Treasures considered their day a success.

“We haven’t even been open for an hour and we’ve already made a lot of money,” Dahne said early into their sale.

All the money goes toward sustaining the project, including storing the donated items throughout the year.

Rushika Nayak, a freshman biology major who lives on campus, was clothing shopping at the yard sale. After receiving a text message from a friend about the sale, she decided to check it out. While she said she doesn’t typically seek out secondhand sales, Nayak does enjoy coming across them.

“If [a sale] is there I’m going to check it out,” she said.

She purchased a bright orange shirt and still looked through bins of clothing with a friend.

In addition to the good value, Nayak also felt the project was useful for college students and sustainability.

She said, “It’s a community thing. It’s better than just throwing stuff out.”