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Exeter Exchange Making a Difference

Volunteers Ragini '12, Ariana '09 and Alex '10 surrounded by goods available at the Exeter Exchange, a new recycling "store" on campus

January 14, 2009

Sustainability efforts at Exeter run the gamut, from simple turn-off-the-light campaigns to major green building projects.

This year, 32 of Exeter's dedicated environmentalists have been volunteering at the Exeter Exchange, a clothing, furniture and goods recycling "store" located in the Davis Center. The Exchange carries everything from flip-flops to computer monitors, CDs, blue jeans and games.

"The Exchange makes us more aware of what we throw away, because we know that there will be someone on campus who will appreciate what we have grown out of," explains Ariana, the senior who manages the store. "On a more personal level, the Exchange brings people together around interesting and perhaps wacky items who normally wouldn't be hanging out together."

The Exchange charges a nominal fee for items. "We think that charging a small fee helps get across the message that everything has a cost associated with it, whether economic or environmental," explains Jennifer Wilhelm, Exeter's sustainability coordinator. Proceeds are contributed to charity.

Last fall, the Exchange donated $725 to the Center for a New American Dream, an organization dedicated to helping "Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice." Ariana was one of the students involved in selecting a charity. "What's great about the Center for a New American Dream is that they encourage an outlook on living sustainably that does not end with merely composting or reusing a water bottle," she says. "They promote taking action not only with what you buy, but with how you live and how you express those beliefs."

The Exchange is open Wednesdays from 3-7, and Sundays from 12-5.

Green Cup Challenge Starts Later this Month

Exeter's student environmentalist groups are currently gearing up for the Green Cup Challenge, which starts on January 26. This 4-week challenge encourages high schools to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save  energy during the most punishing part of winter. Started in 2003 at PEA as an inter-dorm energy conservation program, it has grown explosively. This year, over 50 boarding schools and almost 100 day schools will participate.

Interested in learning more?

Check out the Green Cup Challenge website…

Learn more about Exeter's ongoing sustainability initiatives…

Hear why it's fun to be an Environmental Proctor at Exeter…