The Free Store Has Arrived

cardboard ticket with a crossed out money sign on it

Wow, these past couple of days have been crazy busy. On Tuesday September 4th we launched our special International Students edition of the Free Store. We do this every year to help give international students a leg up on getting the things they need to start out their lives here in Ottawa. Also, we like to make freegans happy. Saying that it was successful would be an understatement.

I think I counted about 200 people on the first day before I stopped keeping track. We easy gave away 2 to 3 tonnes of stuff over the course of the two days and I have to tell you that the experience was exhausting. Needless to say I am very proud of the volunteers who came out to lend a hand. And I also want to give a special shout out to our partners (the International Office and Community Life Services) for their continued support.

The Free Store is important for a couple of reasons. First, it diverts tonnes of waste from landfill every year. Second, it demonstrates to people that the garbage bin is not the only alternative. Third, it helps out people that might not have a lot of money. And fourth, it makes people smile. Do I really need to add anything to this list?


Over the coming weeks we will be asking the community for more help with the Free Store. With the demise of the Katimavik program, the Office of Campus Sustainability finds itself without a dedicated core of volunteers. We need sorters, we need cleaners, we need community researchers, we need communications people, we need everyone.

Our grand opening to the campus community will be on September 12th. With a little luck and a lot of person power, we are hoping to have the Free Store open 3 days a week all year around.

If helping out with the Free Store is something you think you are interested in, please contact our Office (sustainable@uottawa.ca). Actually, you can contact us even if you just want to leave a suggestion for how we can make the space even better.

Thanks for your help, I hope to see you at the Free Store sometime.

~ jON - campus sustainability manager
photo credit - jonathan rausseo


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