About the Exchange

Launched during Earth Week 2010, the ReUSE Online Materials Exchange came about by popular demand. Several ReUSE volunteers and other appreciators of free-ness suggested an online resource throughout the course of 2009. ReUSEs expansion from a single centralized storage/distribution unit in the basement garage level of Eschelmann and MLK to a series of “satellite” stations across campus demanded more schlepping power from our corps of volunteers- but why be restricted by the materials that we ourselves could move around campus?

The concept of finding and disposing of materials through an online medium is not new- from sales, to bartering, to free exchange, these communities of old house paint, broken strollers, and gently used bicycles rage rampant particularly in the Bay Area. However, this prevalence and the growing popularity of these websites often leaves students, without cars- out of luck. By establishing a focused community of givers and takers within a specific geographical region, the UC Berkeley campus, the Online Materials Exchange facilitates direct encounters between campus affiliates- students, staff, and faculty.

Funded by a grant in 2009 from The Green Initiative Fund of UC Berkeley, the implementation of the Online Materials Exchange began in Fall 2009 as a collaboration between ReUSE management and a newly hired website design intern.