This month, a Craigslist-like sharing platform for college students called Campus Market was made available at Lewis & Clark. It is a trusted space for students to exchange and sell unwanted items, create carpools and list housing within the LC community.
Campus Market was created as an effort to reduce the carbon footprint made by college students across the nation. The founder, Brad Stinson, got the idea while getting his Bachelor’s Degree at Duke University. Stinson felt a need for a more sustainable moveout system when he noticed that students would get rid of their unwanted belongings by throwing them out.
“You would actually see these bulk items in the dumpster and it really just bothered me because I liked to be kind of aware of the carbon footprint I leave behind,” said Stinson. “I think that others should try to have that same mentality as well. So I tried to create this virtual bulletin board to try and inspire people to help reduce their carbon footprint and at the same time make a little money as well and it took off from there.”
Campus Market was established in 2015 and since its beginning at Duke University, other schools have started reaching out to Stinson to get Campus Market for their communities. The company has expanded to multiple colleges and universities across the country.
LC Director of Multimedia and Internal Communications Vanessa Holmgren discovered Campus Market while researching for a free sharing platform. Previously, Holmgren explored options like Switchboard, which is a campus Craigslist-like website used by Reed College, Portland State University and Willamette University. However, no one was willing to pay for the expensive platform at LC. Holmgren was determined to find something free.
“You can make money by selling your things, you can share your things for free with others and not throw things in the dumpster at the end of the semester,” said Holmgren. “That was my biggest impetus and that was the founder’s biggest impetus. He was sick of seeing things in the dumpster at the end of the semester and that was also my motivation.”
Holmgren and Senior Director of Sustainability and Communications Amy Dvorak run the Green Move-Out as an effort to reduce waste at the end of the school year. The two-day event offers a place for students to drop off their unwanted items—as opposed to throwing them in the dumpster—or get items for free. Holmgren believes the Campus Market will be another way to reduce waste at the end of the school year and wants to open the platform to everyone in the LC community.
“I’m hoping that not only students use it but faculty and staff use it,” said Holmgren. “I’m guessing they’ll like the fact that it’s a trusted way to share things. It’s just going to make life easier to just interact with people who you feel are in a community rather than a more stranger-danger kind of a feeling on Craigslist.”
There are only a few listings right now—a table and a set chairs, a carpool ride from Sellwood, paintings and a queen size bed—since there are only a handful of people signed up. With Campus Market is still new to LC, the site needs more members to get the platform running.
“To start off they simply visit the website and sign up,” said Stinson. “They have to use their student email address and the reason why we have things like that is because want to make sure that people who have access to the Campus Market are students at certain schools.”
With the various free and for sale groups and housing pages on Facebook, sharing platforms can be confusing and unreachable to all LC community members. With the help of Campus Market, everyone with an @lclark.edu email address can register on the site and continue to make LC a sustainable community.
“I’m really hoping that with the Campus Market’s help we see a decrease in the carbon footprint that students are leaving because they really do have a tremendous footprint and a tremendous impact on the environment,” said Stinson. That’s really the real goal. I’m not in it for the profit or anything like that, I’m really just trying to build a platform that’s to make a little money, but more importantly help the environment.”