As a part of the university’s goal to go “zero waste by 2020,” a sustainability professor, along with two graduate students, collaborated to found a second-use store that is slated to open Jan. 25 at the Memorial Union.
Known as the Aggie ReStore, the project was inspired by UC Davis Professor Ann Savageau’s course in sustainability.
“For one project, students collect so-called campus ‘waste’ or post-consumer materials, and figure out how to make new, attractive, usable products. I knew we had something special that needed to be expanded to the larger campus community,” Savageau said.
Aggie ReStore seeks to provide a second life for items that would otherwise have gone to waste in a landfill.
“Our store is unique because donators determine our inventory, so the type of items we provide are always changing,” said Loni Coelho, unit director for Aggie ReStore.
According to Coelho, prices will range from a nickel to $20. The store will carry school supplies, clothing, small electronics and kitchenware.
Additionally, interested students may also showcase and sell what Savageau likes to call “handcrafted items made with recycled materials.”
The business is being run as a nonprofit unit under ASUCD. The staff consists almost entirely of volunteers. Graduate student Carol Shu — one of the founders — said the profits will fund store’s operations and depending on the amount of sales, profits may also be used for outreach programs.
Savageau is optimistic about the impact of Aggie ReStore.
“It will be an important idea generator and will serve as an example of what can be done to extend the life of products, conserve our precious natural resources and reduce waste,” she said.
The Aggie ReStore will be holding its grand opening on Jan. 25. There was also a soft opening Tuesday.
RICHARD CHANG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.