HARTFORD, Conn. – Need a slightly used microwave or refrigerator to help cure those late-night munchies? How about some posters to dress up the bare walls in your residence-hall room? Or a mirror so that you can make sure your socks match before heading out the door?
You can find those items and more – much, much more – at The Coop, Trinity’s first on-campus, student organized and operated thrift store. It will be located on the ground floor of Jackson Hall and will open for business on Thursday, September 2, which is move-in day for first-year students.
Many of the items are ones that students typically need to furnish their residence-hall rooms, and they can be purchased at bargain-basement prices and without having to shlep to the nearest big-box store.
The idea for The Coop came from Giuliani Lopez ’11 (at right), and the members of Green Campus, which is dedicated to environmental causes, sustainability and reducing the College’s carbon footprint. One way that can be achieved is to recycle goods and merchandise that are in good condition and can be reused.
“We wanted The Coop to become a focal point on campus and to show that Trinity is becoming more sustainable and that students are contributing,” said Lopez, who is also manager of The Treehouse (the College’s environmental theme house) and a member of the Campus Sustainability Task Force.
Among the items for sale are books, clothing, lamps, fans, wall decorations, appliances, jewelry, power strips, shoes, extension cords, backpacks, key chains and a whole lot more. The prices range from a few dollars to $50 for a large refrigerator.
In addition, near the door will be a table with free merchandise, such as open containers of laundry detergent. Lopez said the reason for the “free table” is to help reduce waste and to allow students to become accustomed to using up all items before buying new ones.
Many of the wares were obtained during Dump and Run, a program that is conducted at the end of each semester. Students collect items that other students have discarded or left behind when they move out of their residence halls. Other goods were donated.
The proceeds from the sale of the merchandise will go to charities to be determined during the fall semester. Lopez is hoping that some students will step up and volunteer to help run the thrift store.
Although The Coop is currently a well-kept secret, by the time it opens at 8 a.m. on September 2, there will be a sign and tables of merchandise outside of the store in Jackson Hall as well as posters on campus.
In addition to Green Campus, the opening of the thrift store was made possible by the Office of Campus Life, the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement, the Computing Center – which is providing a computer and a Bantam Bucks card reader – and E & R Cleaners, which laundered the clothing.
The days and hours of The Coop will be determined once it’s known how many students will be able to donate their time.
Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact Lopez at Giuliani.Lopez@trincoll.edu.