One man's trash, another man's treasure

The Santa Monica College quad was filled with people on Thursday, searching for the perfect top, a new pair of jeans or a nice sweatshirt.

As part of the college's Earth Week events, the second annual Free Store could be described as a free thrift shop.

Hosted by the EcoAction Club, the Free Store included clothing, electronics, kitchenware, tools, bikes, office supplies, VHS tapes, old video games and books, with the higher-priced items partitioned off for a raffle.

"I got the idea from my old school, Cal Poly," said EcoAction Club Co-President Alex Martinez.

Cory Phillips, a member of the EcoAction club, entertained the crowd with his live band while students shopped at the store.

"Originally this event started last year in 2012 as sort of an alternative for Black Friday, to show people you don't have to buy everything brand new and also to promote reusing items," Martinez said as he looked on at the event he helped create.

The event was well-received, as SMC students walked away with hands full of new clothing and accessories.

"I just came here to see what was going on, and left with two T-shirts, a pair of jeans and some sneakers," said SMC student Daniel Lorén.

"Our club is a club that is environmentally active, and we try to promote environmental issues and topics right here through the campus community," Martinez said.

All of the items available at the event were given to the EcoAction Club by SMC staff, faculty and club members.

"It all came from the campus community," said Martinez. "We have local residents that came to donate but it was mostly from the students, and a lot of the staff and faculty came and helped out too."

Martinez also said that the Associated Students, as well as the SMC Chemistry Club, contributed to the event.

Martinez said he hopes this event will become an annual SMC tradition.

"Last year was about a third the size of this year," he said. "With very little planning, we had a good turnout and now that we have done the right preparatory steps, you can see the turnout. I think it lays a really good message."

Simon Luca ManiliComment