Trading event lets students swap used items

Forget holiday shopping. The TCU Public Relations Student Society of America is providing holiday swapping with Frog Trade on Thursday.

Frog Trade is a trading event where students can exchange their used items for other items in a more sustainable way to acquire new things, said Tiffany Rogers, vice president of chapter development of TCU PRSSA.

Rogers, a junior strategic communications major, said the idea for the event came to her when she saw a video in instructor Keith Whitworth’s sustainability class at the beginning of the semester. She said the video, “The Story of Stuff,” mentioned people throw away 99 percent of the items they buy within six months because they break or people do not want them.

By spinning that statistic into an event where students trade items they no longer want for items from other students, Rogers said the initiative is cutting down on waste and helping the environment.

“It’s basically trying to stop that whole ‘buy it, use it, throw it away’ and make it ‘buy it, use it, let somebody else use it,’ so that we don’t get rid of those things so quickly and they don’t end up in landfills before they need to,” Rogers said. “There’s usually totally useful items; we just don’t want them anymore.”

Rogers said the TCU PRSSA and sororities and fraternities have been donating items students can trade for, and anything from books to clothes to furniture and electronics can be traded. She said the timing is perfect for the event since students are preparing to move or leave their dorm rooms at the end of the semester.

Aryn Young, a sophomore biology major, said she planned to attend the event. She said she needs to clean out things before the semester ends and hopes to trade for some interesting items.

“I think it’s like any garage sale,” she said, adding that sustainability is a plus. “You’re hoping that you find something really neat that someone else didn’t want. And the fact that you don’t have to pay for it is awesome.”

Whitworth, a sociology instructor, said he was pleased when Rogers approached him with an idea to combine concepts learned in his class with her advertising class. He said he worked with students to brainstorm an idea, and they decided on the Frog Trade event.

Whitworth said the average American creates 4.5 pounds of waste daily and the event will help the university think about reusing and recycling belongings instead of disposing of them at the end of the semester. He said he hopes students “make a statement about consumerism especially during the holiday season.”

“If we can all learn to use less and reuse when possible, then our world will be a better place,” Whitworth wrote in an e-mail. “As Americans, we are socialized to consume and focus on materialism. This type of materialistic lifestyle has unintended negative consequences within the social, environmental, and economic spheres.”

In addition to Frog Trade being a sustainable event, it will also be a fundraiser with a drawing for an Omni Theater and The Museum of Science and History package and a $100 gift card to The Greener Good, an eco-friendly store, Rogers said. There is a minimum donation of 50 cents to be entered into the drawing, and proceeds raised will be split between the TCU PRSSA and the Purple Bike Program. Any left over items will be donated to Goodwill.

Rogers said she hoped Frog Trade will be the start of more green events on campus, adding that the university should do more to improve its grade on the sustainability report card, of which TCU recently received a C-minus for the second consecutive year.

“We’re a part of that report card, and we’re a part of that movement of TCU,” Rogers said. “We need to be a little bit more knowledgeable about these issues and ways that we can prevent harm to the environment.”

Frog Trade

When: Noon to 4:30 p.m. today

Where: Sadler Lawn