For the second year in a row, Being Well at Yale, Student Wellness, and the Yale Office of Sustainability hosted the Declutter-Destress-Donate campaign. The campus-wide initiative encouraged the Yale community to take stock of their spaces, donate what they did not need, and reduce stress in the process.
Bins from Easter Seals Goodwill were placed around campus to collect the donations. This year, the campaign expanded beyond the residential colleges to include graduate housing and various campus buildings, totaling 28 collection locations across Yale.
Heidi Richard, a member of the Yale School of Public Health’s Sustainability Committee, volunteered to host a bin.
“The Yale School of Public Health is inherently committed to both well-being and public service,” she says. “Its Sustainability Committee was pleased to sponsor this initiative, and to watch the bin fill up, to improve the lives of our own and neighboring communities.”
The campaign ran from Feb. 28 to March 10, aligning with the two weeks before Yale College Spring Recess. Students were encouraged to destress during midterms and take items that they would no longer need on campus home over spring break. Decluttering can help increase individual’s ability to think more clearly, work more efficiently, and reduce stress.
The Yale Sustainability Service Corps, Graduate Housing Resident Coordinators, and multiple groups of staff members helped make the campaign a success by promoting it throughout campus, and monitoring the bins during the campaign.
Lily Zeng, Resident Coordinator at the Berkeley Apartments, felt the campaign was an excellent opportunity for people to clear out unnecessary clutter, reduce waste, and support a good cause.
“People usually ask me how to donate things, but logistics often become an issue because not all students have a car to transport donations,” she says. “Having a donation bin there in the basement was perfect because it got rid of all these logistic barriers, and our building successfully filled up the bin with donations.”
During the campaign, the Office of Sustainability and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment hosted the Patagonia Worn Wear College Tour, a day-long event around waste reduction. One of the day’s activities was a clothing swap at Ingalls Rink, with any items that remained donated to Goodwill.
A total of 4,450 pounds of donations were collected during this year’s campaign.
Undergraduate Yale students who missed out on the Declutter-Destress-Donate campaign are encouraged to take part in Spring Salvage, an annual waste diversion program during undergraduate move-out, from May 1 to May 25.
Yale is committed to building a more sustainable world. By doing what we do best—integrating science, the humanities, and our community—Yale creates, tests and adopts innovative solutions to the environmental and social challenges we all face.