By Aubrey Ramsdell
Following up with plans laid earlier in the semester, HFOS and the Green Navigators will be working to collect unwanted items from students during these last few weeks of the semester. They're calling it "Project Move-Out: Code Green," and everything that they gather will go toward those in need in the local area.
The group will be delivering donations to Catholic Social Services (CSS) in New Bedford, which has a food pantry and a walk-in clothing closet. "Everything stays local," said Robin Brow, Operations Manager for HFOS. "They service over 500 people a week. Any little bit can help for them," she added.
The collection team will be looking to secure items ranging from clothing and shoes, to toiletries, to non-perishable food items. Clothing should be clean, shoes tied together, and all food packages should remain unopened, as should toiletries. Additionally, they will be accepting donations of small household appliances, such as microwaves, toaster ovens, and monitors. Pots and pans, and other kitchen items will also be greatly appreciated.
"They also do transitional housing," said Brow, "Small household appliances will help them when they're transitioning to an apartment."
Collection bins will be available in residence halls around campus. "Hopefully students will start to clean out early rather than waiting until the end. Then, they can do it slowly rather than a mad rush," she said."
Project Move-Out isn't all that the Green Navigators have lined up. They're hosting a sustainable bag swap on Thursday, May 7, from 10 a.m. To 2 p.m. in the Campus Center. "Students need to bring a minimum of 25 plastic shopping bags to receive a custom-made reusable bag," said Brow, "It was a project that the Green Navigators did, and the bags were actually donated by the Social Change Society."
Reflecting on the past school year, Brow said, "We did a lot, I think, certainly with the implementation with single stream recycling with 14 residence halls, the successful launch of recyclemania, and the beginning of the Green Navigators to build and get information out to not just residents, but the whole campus. We can start thinking about being more sustainable."
She added that the Green Navigators have only been in place since February. "They're so new, and really I feel like we've been able to accomplish a lot," she said. The group has plans for the fall, with no intention of slowing down their efforts.
This article first appeared in the UMass Dartmouth Torch.