William and Mary’s on-campus Free Market was founded in March 2012. Self-described as a “Thrift Store where everything is FREE,” the Free Market is a growing initiative of the Student Environmental Action Coalition’s (SEAC) Recycling work group.
The market consistently has boxes for donations and collection drives around campus, and is open for business on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., and on weekends.
Located conveniently in the SEAC office of the Campus Center, more and more students are frequenting the Market. The entirely student-run initiative is getting the college community excited about recycling. With already 218 Facebook “Likes” since March 2012, the Free Market is clearly getting people’s attention. And donations! The market is full of clothes, bags, accessories, books, appliances, water bottles…
SEAC also runs an end-of-year drive, encouraging people to recycle their dorm paraphernalia instead of throwing it out. The Committee on Sustainability partnered with SEAC to get nice signs for the event, to attract even more attention to the large recycling bins strewn around campus in move-out season. The drive was extremely successively, and, as the Free Market has limited space, SEAC was able to donate quite a lot to Goodwill.
One of the greatest assets of the Free Market is that it allows students to enjoy both ends of the recycling process. It is all too easy for people to pat themselves on the back for recycling their soda cans every day, while forgetting that they can help on the other side of recycling too. Why not wear recycled clothes? Pick up a recycled egg-beater for your kitchen?
The SEAC members understand that recycling is a two-way street and they are reaching out to students and inviting them to participate in recycling in fun, practical ways they may not have previously considered.