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Sustainable shopping at Zero Waste pop-up thrift shop

If you've only got twenty dollars in your pocket, you can pop some tags in the Zero Waste Oxford Pop-Up Thrift Shop in the Armstrong Student Center (ASC) when the student organization that promotes sustainable living returns on Monday, April 22. Zero Waste Oxford teaches students how to reduce waste in their everyday lives and hosts the Pop-Up Shop around the corner from Cafe Lux.

The Pop-Up Thrift Shop has made two week long appearances in Armstrong this semester and will return for two weeks from April 22 until May 3.

The shop was inspired by other thrift stores that senior Katja Diekgers, co-founder and treasurer of Zero Waste Oxford, and other members of Zero Waste Oxford learned about at a zero waste conference earlier this year.

"Some colleges have permanent thrift stores on campus that anyone can donate clothes to at anytime," Diekgers said. "And it creates student jobs, and what they do with the proceeds is they make student scholarships out of it, and we thought that was the coolest thing ever."

Though the pop-up shop is not permanent, Diekgers hopes that one day Miami can house its own on-campus thrift store.

"The goal for the thrift shop is to show Miami that it's feasible, that it's possible, that people want to be supporting a second hand industry on campus and that it will be successful," Diekgers said. "Waste is our main focus, but we really prioritize in making Miami a more sustainable campus in general because it really isn't the most sustainable and it could do a lot better."

Volunteers who worked at the shop ranged from members of Zero Waste Oxford to residents of the Oxford community.

"I think it's fun to have a thrift shop in the student center for students just to browse," said Chantel Raghu, a store volunteer and Oxford councilwoman . "It's such a good stress relief.""

Later this month during Earth Week, Bea Johnson, zero waste guru and author of "Zero Waste Home," will be at Miami to talk about her story and the waste-free lifestyle. Johnson and her family have been living a nearly zero waste lifestyle since 2008, with their annual trash compiling to fill one jar, according to her blog.

Until then, the Pop-Up Thrift Shop gives students a chance to reduce their environmental footprint and look stylish doing it. You might find someone's granddad's coat, you might even look incredible.

Donations can be dropped off between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 through Friday, May 3 at 201 South Main St. and 39* 84* Center in Peabody Hall.

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