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“Binders, so many binders…” – a caption found on the Duke Free Store Facebook page.

From the new freshmen arriving each year, through people moving from dorms to off campus living, to graduates finishing up with their studies – student life can be pretty transient. And all that moving about tends to create a lot of waste. With Duke University pursuing ambitious sustainability goals, including reducing both waste and energy use, this flow of trash to landfill represents significant challenges.

The Duke Free Store, a partnership between Students for Sustainable Living and Duke Recycles, encourages students, staff and faculty to donate and/or take any gently used items they no longer need and that may be of use to others. (Items that are illegal, dangerous or alive can’t be accepted!) The donations are then collected and displayed at a bi-weekly Free Store event either inside the Bryan Center or just outside on the Plaza.

There’s no charge for taking any of the items, and there’s no obligation to donate in order to shop. The whole idea is simply to facilitate the reuse and sharing of resources to reduce waste and help each other out.

Duke Free Store events are listed on the Duke Sustainability News and Events page, as well as the Free Store’s own Facebook page.