A local university is partnering with the waste authority to create a new position charged with reducing waste at the area colleges. One of the key areas they are targeting is when students move out of the residence halls. Everything from furniture to food is just tossed into the Dumpster, and the hope is to coordinate a “Donate Don’t Dump” event on each of the campuses to repurpose the castaways.

I thought of this when I read about Eleanor Love who works with brides and wedding planners to share leftover reception flowers with those in hospice or the hospital. She now has a core of 200 volunteers to help deliver bouquets to patients in Virginia Commonwealth Medical Center, bringing joy and new life to blossoms that would otherwise be discarded.

My Mom used to tell us that “someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure.” How true it is. Whether for environmental or humanitarian reasons, consider whether there is a new life you can give to that which you would otherwise toss. Or better yet, see if you can’t be like the Sustainable College Coalition or Dr. Love and create a system that repurposes things on an ongoing basis. Others beyond Mother Nature will be delighted with your donations.

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