Sustainability week at TWU: Turning used goods into cash to benefit charitable causes

“Each day we have tons of choices that we can make to be environmentally responsible.”
— Joshua Anderson, Trinity Western Environmental Club (TWEC)

TWU students are making efforts to reduce waste and raise awareness for environmentalism. On Sunday April 11, students at Trinity Western, led by a campus environmental club (TWEC), turned spring cleaning into an outdoor socially distanced used-goods swap exchange.

The result was less waste, more recycling, and funds raised for youth businesses and charitable causes.

“People throw away their junk all the time, [such as] clothing and other essentials, when someone might actually need those,” said Rea Klar, a first year Biology major at TWU and the media manager for TWEC.

“Usually around the end of semester there is a lot of waste.”

For university students like Klar, this month marks the end of the academic year – a time to clean out bookshelves and closets. Inevitably, many items are no longer wanted.

The student-run “Swap + Shop” was part of a five-day sustainability week (April 6-11) on campus, to encourage students to reuse items and reduce waste. Arranged in an outdoor parking lot on campus on Sunday afternoon, student vendors sold used clothing, textbooks, re-usable items and handmade accessories.

Hailee Boks, a third year Media + Communications major, was selling vintage clothing from her online store Hazel and Hail Clothing. Boks said she started her business to encourage people to reuse clothing “instead of buying from fast fashion brands” because it is “more friendly to the environment.”

A team of three recent alumni, Florence Song (Nursing, ’19), Amy Saya (Human Kinetics, ‘20) and Chanhee Park (International Studies, ‘20), were selling used clothing and handmade accessories to benefit international charities. One of their projects, dubbed Closet for Ally, is a clothing fundraiser for Ally Global, a Vancouver-based NGO that supports survivors of human trafficking in Nepal, Laos and Cambodia. Another project fundraised to help aid relief in Myanmar, through sales of handmade hair scrunchies.

Throughout April’s sustainability week, TWEC shared environmentalism facts, tips and ideas on social media, focusing on different topics each day from the impact of fast fashion to food waste. The group also organized volunteer trash clean-up crews to pick up garbage around the community. Students who participated in the clean-up efforts were entered to win gift certificates from Cedar Rim Nursery.

See also: TWU family makes community gardening welcoming and accessible for all people:
TWU News

Joshua Anderson of TWEC said through social media, “Each day we have tons of choices that we can make to be environmentally responsible...or not.”

Here are some practical ways to reduce waste – tips shared by TWEC:

  • Keep those pasta jars (and other food jars) and reuse them for saving leftovers, as a cup, or for storing other things.
  • Buy bulk items (and store them in those jars you kept!).
  • Use reusable K-cup pods, or find compostable pods. Return your Nespresso pods to be recycled.
  • Avoid single-use cutlery (or single-use take out containers), and bring your own.
  • Drink loose leaf tea (or at least opt for tea bags that are compostable).
  • Use silicone mats instead of parchment paper.
  • Repair your items before buying new ones (learn to darn, patch and sew!).

According to TWEC, every bit of effort counts. 

See also: Read this story in Langley Advance Times

About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier Christian liberal arts university dedicated to equipping students to establish meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. It is a fully accredited research institution offering liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four campuses and locations: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. TWU emphasizes academic excellence, research, and student engagement in a vital faith community committed to forming leaders to have a transformational impact on culture. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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