FreeStore open at UAF
by David Spindler
UAF’s Office of Sustainability opened up a FreeStore this fall semester during Freshman Orientation.
The FreeStore is where UAF students can donate anything from clothes, dorm and household items like kitchenware, movies, books and shoes. It operates under the principle, under the principle “Take what you need, leave what you don’t,” and is 100% free to everyone.
Currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in natural resource management at UAF, Christin Anderson, came up with the idea for a UAF FreeStore after she attended Oberlin College in Ohio.
Her former college had a student-run campus store created to help reduce consumption and land waste. Anderson liked the idea of a campus running a FreeStore for donated items so she and Alexander Bergman, an undeclared sophomore and staff member at the Office of Sustainability, co-authored a $5,000 proposal to the Review of Infrastructure, Sustainability and Energy Board. Soon, they setup the FreeStore in with the Office of Sustainability on the 2nd floor of the Lola Tilly Commons.
UAF’s FreeStore is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday year-round.
The only items that can’t be donated are furniture, knives or hazardous items like gas fluids.
All donated items in the store are, of course, free but it should be noted that no one should take any of the shelving, racks or coat hangers used to help display the items. They are clearly marked to help them be set aside from the donations.
When arriving at the FreeStore please be sure to sign in by putting a tally mark on the sign-in sheet to help the Office of Sustainability keep track of how much this service is being used by students. The student recyclers, employees of the Office of Sustainability, help straighten up the store and organize donations in their spare time.
Anderson volunteers on her own time to keep track of the sign in sheet. “I really want an inventory on everything to do with the FreeStore, but I need help from students,” Anderson said. She invites anyone who is interested in volunteering at the FreeStore to contact her directly or stop by the office.
She says the best part of UAF opening a FreeStore is that students who continue to reuse perfectly useful items are keeping those items out of the waste-stream. They’re are also preventing air and water pollution that would be caused by production of new items, saving money, Anderson said.