Nearing the end of our autumn term, as things around College began to slow down, I noticed an increase in activity in our college Buy/Sell group Brasenose What I Have. Used by Brasenose students to share what they have and no longer need, with the 280 members of the Brasenose student population, Brasenose What I Have was the perfect place for waste reduction at the end of term. As people moved out, a lot of uneaten food items were posted on the group, many being saved from the bin by hungry students sticking around to help with undergraduate interviews. Thanks in part to the group, the sharing spirit made it into our international group as well! I, for one, was able to get some extra bubble wrap to help me pack as I prepared to store my items for the vacation.
Brasenose What I Have has existed, however, long before this year. I asked Ariane Laurent-Smith, in her 4th year at Brasenose, and notably active member of the group if she had any good stories from the past years. That’s when I found out that Ariane had actually come up with the idea for the group with Elin Roberts (former charities Rep.) and sourced a punny name from Alanna Wall.
In the past four terms What I Have has been a part of the Brasenose Facebook community, the items offered and asked for there have ranged from “a lemon meringue pie, for all your pie based needs” to “nearly a litre of olive oil.” Often the title of the post is humorous, when offering Cherry and Almond Milk Body Wash, someone wrote “it smells like marzipan- If you want to smell like marzipan here's your chance” as a description. Other titles of offered items have been things like “deceptive soup,” “SO MUCH PIZZA,” and “One small cabbage and some cheeky chives.” Needless to say, the group has been a source of not only humour and laughter (the title itself is a pun!), but has also served as great tool to reduce waste in and highlight the sharing spirit of our community at Brasenose. I’m looking forward to see what people will share next term.
Also, here is the official text from Elin Roberts upon creation of the group in October 2016: "This group is for BNC students to share things they no longer want/need, so other students can pick them up if they'd like them! This can range from a bag of apples to a second hand book - if you think someone else might benefit from having it and you no longer need it, post on here and hopefully someone will be keen to take it off your hands :) The only rule is you CAN'T charge for anything, to keep it simple and to promote reducing waste rather than making money (there are other great pages like Oxford Women's Sale or Students of Oxford Swap Shop if you think what you have to offer is too substantial to give away for free). However, if you'd like to pay something, you're always welcome to donate to a charity of the donator's choice :)"
By Tucker Drew (1st Year Philosophy and Linguistics student)