Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.00
Liaison Jonna Korpi
Submission Date Nov. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Minnesota, Duluth
IN-25: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Jonna Korpi
Sustainability Activities Coordinator
UMD Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Waste Not, Want Not: UMD's Free Store

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In 2018, UMD began collecting donations from students living on campus to give back to future UMD students in a one-day pop-up shop known as the Free Store. This venture served multiple purposes: reduce items going to the landfill, increase reuse of items, lower the economic burden on incoming students of moving to college, and creating a sense of community on move-in day.

UMD Housing & Residence Life is not new to collecting donations during move-out. However, up until Spring 2018, all items were being donated off campus to local non-profits in the community. With some increased capacity and encouragement to try something new, the Free Store was born, with the mission of students giving back to other students. Non-perishable food items are now given to Champ's Cupboard, our on-campus food pantry, and business-appropriate clothing is kept for Champ's Closet, our on-campus interview/work clothing access point.

The first Free Store debuted on move-in day, August 21, 2018, and the line to get in stretched into the street! That day, we served over 300 students, giving away over 1,100 items and lots of other free goodies like tupperware and reusable bags. Working with international students also spurred our collaborative group to do an additional Free Store pop-up in the fall: Winter Clothing pop-up where we collected and gave away jackets, sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, boots, and warm socks.

In 2019, we've already been able to keep twice as many donations for the fall Free Store than we had in 2018. With better organization, strengthened partnerships, and good messaging to the student body to encourage donations, this year's Free Store will be bigger and better! And we've got a jump on our Winter Clothing pop-up -- having been able to sort more thoughtfully this year and know what made sense to keep and what to donate off-campus.

The Free Store is a collaborative project with support from many UMD departments: UMD’s Housing and Residence Life, the Office of Sustainability, International Student Services, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, UMD Stores, UMD Dining Services and the Office of Student Life. We also partner with Goodwill to donate items that we don't have capacity to keep for our current store: Large furniture items, sporting goods, and casual clothing, to name a few.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Enagement
Diversity & Affordability

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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