UConn Office of Environmental Policy

Promoting sustainability at UConn


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Sustainable Shopping

Like a lot of girls, I love to shop. As a consumer, it is important to be conscious of the impacts of your clothing purchases. It is estimated that over 90% of the clothing purchased in the United States comes from abroad. A sweater that you notice hanging on the rack or a pair of shoes you come across at a department store might have traveled thousands of miles, using up energy and polluting the planet with coal on its journey to reach you. The latter motivated me to become the type of consumer who primarily purchases consignment clothing.

What is Consignment?clothing pic
Consignment clothing shops is a clothing shop that sells clothes that are owned not by the shop’s owner, but by the individual who had given (consigned) the clothes to the shop for the owner to sell. Both the shop owner and the individual who donated the clothing receive a portion of the profit once the clothing items are sold.
Consignment clothing produces a significantly smaller carbon footprint. While the sweater or the pair of shoes might have first come from thousands of miles away, it most likely made itself into the consignment clothing shop after someone in the local community wore it, and then sold or donated it to the shop. The only carbon emissions associated with the sweater or pair of shoes is the fuel that it took the donator and the shopper to drive to the store. The amount of emissions would be significantly less or virtually zero if either person walked, biked, or took public transportation to the consignment clothing store.
Consignment clothing items are tremendously discounted as well. I have always found that $50 at a consignment clothing store will earn me at least three or four times more than spending $50 at a department store. Purchasing discounted items does not mean sacrificing style. A majority of consignment stores tailor to the style of the glamorous, uptown, modern woman.

The 3 R’s
Reuse
While the idea of wearing something that someone else wore can be a turn off to some people, the clothing is first washed before it is placed on the racks, and the clothing must be gently used. Buying and using gently worn clothing follows one of the main principles of environmental friendliness. These clothing items, if they had not been donated or sold to the consignment shop, could have easily ended up in a landfill.green shopping pic

Reduce
The packaging associated with brand new items often ends up in landfills as well, especially if the new clothing item is ordered online. The new clothing items can come wrapped up in a lot of plastic, tissue, etc. Gently worn clothing items purchased in a consignment clothing shop eliminate that unnecessary packaging entirely.

Recycle
You can support consignment clothing shops by participating as a donor or seller. Bring your gently used, unwanted clothing items, shoes, and accessories to a consignment clothing store. You will be paid for your generosity and environmental stewardship!

-Meredith


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Earth Week!

Earth Day may be on April 22nd this year, but I’m sure we can all agree that UConn’s commitment to environmental sustainability calls for more than just one day of celebration. This year, we envision something much more spectacular: an Earth Week! Throughout the week of April 20th, Fairfield Way will be home to lots of exciting, sustainable events.

EDSF picOn Monday, April 20th, UConn’s annual Earth Day Spring Fling will be taking place on Fairfield Way from 11:00am-2:00pm. There will be over 40 sustainable vendors and exhibitors, as well as live music, and the Department of Dining Services will be hosting a delicious, zero-waste barbeque. For years, EDSF has been a well-loved event, and this year will be no exception.Arbor Day pic

On Wednesday, April 22nd, UConn’s very first Arbor Day Celebration will be held from 11:00am-2:00pm at the intersection of Fairfield Way and North Hillside Road. Thanks to a generous donation from the Arbor Day Foundation as well as the help of Dining Services, this event will feature an eight-by-four foot tree cake (yes, a thirty-two square foot cake), a tree pruning demonstration, as well as a tree planting.

EcoHusky will be hosting a clothing swap throughout the week of the 20th: Monday 11:00am-2:00pm during Earth Day Spring Fling, Tuesday 10:00am-2:00pm, and Wednesday 10:00am-2:00pm. The clothing swap provides students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to give away old clothes in a more sustainable way, and also pick out something new.

When we consider the level of commitment to environmental sustainability at the University of Connecticut, this week of celebration and excitement seems fitting. UConn’s obligation to our Earth is worthy of such festivities, and we hope that everyone on campus will be able to partake in and enjoy these wonderful events.


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Stop n’ Swap!

Exchange your clothes; anything goes!

After this long winter, I’m sure we’re all tired of our coats, sweaters, hats, and scarves. Now that spring is finally here, and it’s a beautiful, sunny 46 degrees outside, we need to start making space in our closetsedit for shorts and tank tops. That does not mean we should just toss all of our lightly used clothes in the trash. If you have any clothing that you no longer want or need, have no fear. EcoHusky is hosting a clothing swap for anyone at UConn to drop off unwanted clothes and even exchange them for something new!

The clothing swap will be taking place on Fairfield Way the following dates/times:
– Monday, 4/20 11:00am-2:00pm
– Tuesday, 4/21 10:00am-2:00pm
– Wednesday, 4/22 10:00am-2:00pm

Bring as many clothing items as you can carry, because for every item you donate, you have the opportunity to exchange for something new. Even if you don’t have anything to donate, please make sure to stop by anyway, because every item is on sale for only $2! All proceeds will go to EcoHusky to promote sustainability and host cool green events like this one. In addition, all extra clothing will be donated to Planet Aid and PIRG’s Campaign for Hunger and Homelessness.

If you can’t make it to the swap any of these days, there are other opportunities to get involved. Clothing collection bins can be found in a variety of locations, including the EcoHouse office in Sprague Hall, the WHUS studio located on fourth floor of the Student Union, as well as the laundry rooms in Buckley and North. If you have any questions, please contact: kelly.morrissey@uconn.edu

EcoHusky’s clothing swap is a fantastic way to transform your closet in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. We hope to see you there!