Summer in the city
There's always a way to make a greener transition. Columbia's "Give and Go Green" program lets students donate unneeded items, instead of having to sell or throw them away.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 18:54
In college, moving in and out is always a stressful time. It seems like no matter how much I try to consolidate my earthly belongings, I always end up accumulating massive amounts of ... stuff.
Packing it all up has given me some great insight into my first year in New York: a paperback copy of Abelard's "The Story of My Misfortunes" bought at Strand for a dollar, ticket stubs from the opera, the ballet, movies and TV show tapings ("The Daily Show!"), free T-shirts from campus concerts and events.
I move into an apartment I'm subletting for the summer on Friday — it's a 5th floor walkup — so getting rid of stuff is a huge priority for me, bigger than it is for many people whose parents can easily pick up all of their stuff on the sidewalk. Doing this in an environmentally-conscious way, however, is a bit of a challenge.
I sold back my textbooks — $23 for 16 books. It was depressing, but at least I felt environmentally responsible.
I'm also lucky that Columbia has the Give and Go Green program. Bins are set up during moveout where students can donate non-perishable food, kitchenware, toiletries, appliances, books and other stuff. The donated goods benefit local organizations like Salvation Army and City Harvest. There are some things I have no choice but to throw away — scraps of cloth I used in my Halloween costume (I was a goat), a worn-out belt that has visible stretch marks on it, milk from my minifridge. But everything else that I can't lug up five floors? It's going.
My place for the summer will have a kitchen, so I've been throwing around the idea of signing up for the Morningside CSA. It was my resolution for the year to learn how to cook, but that hasn't been as successful as I'd liked it to be ... small steps, right? The Union Square Greenmarket will be an amazing resource for the fresh and local veggies I need, in the meantime.
Do you have any favorite summer transition tips? Let me know — if there's any way I can lighten up my load (quite literally), I'm excited to hear it.
Photo: Amanda Cormier
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