Eckerd students can save on college furnishings at 'Trash 2 Treasure' event

Three months ago, when seniors from Eckerd College were saying goodbye to dorm life, most of their discarded belongings would've normally gone to the landfill. But this year, things are different. All of those items were collected and saved for Friday's "Trash 2 Treasure" event.

"We were able to offset about four tons of material. That's the difference between what we threw out in May of 2013 versus May of 2014," said Evan Bollier with Eckerd College.

Freshmen and their parents are able to find just about anything that looks like college life, from the mini-fridge to coffee makers to pots and pans. There's plenty of bargains and the college maintains its commitment to sustainability.

Mackenzie Redner, who picked up a couple of lamps, is from California and is proud to be a student at a college where making a difference is a way of life on campus.

"Being eco-friendly, [is] a huge part of where I live, which is really nice to have over here, too. Like being able to re-use this stuff and not having to throw it away is really awesome," Mackenzie said.

Parents love the idea of saving a few bucks, too.

"I think it's a great way to diminish your costs for moving in. And to reuse is always your first round at recycling," said Lynn Redner.

Money raised will go to support Eckerd's sustainability programs, such as a water bottle refilling station. It's one of nine on campus.

The Warneke family from Atlanta was happy to pick up a fridge and microwave for their son Hunter.

Alecia Warneke likes the message it sends. 

"I'm excited to be able to support that, and it's a win-win all the way around," she said.

Plus, buying a used microwave that needs a good cleaning can be good for teaching responsibility at college.

"I feel a little bit bad as a mom buying that for him and telling him to cook things, but not too bad because he knows how to clean," Alecia smiled.

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