Ecology and Environment

SHRUB – Swap And Re-Use Hub

This article first appeared in Movement, the St. Columba’s by the Castle magazine.

Once upon a time Edinburgh Uni students used to dump loads of their stuff when they graduated, destined for landfill. Some enterprising students decided this was wrong, and found a place where it could be stored over the summer. Come September, the unwanted stuff (which might be bedding, curtains, clothes, music, crockery and saucepans) resurfaced, available at a free-for-all for freshers.

This has grown into a co-operative with volunteers and some paid staff, largely financed by the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Funds and the European Regional Development Fund.

There is a SHRUB swap-shop at 13, Guthrie Street, just off Cowgate. Activities now include the Wee Spoke Hub where you can get help to mend your bicycle and where volunteers check over bikes donated to offer to refugees.

They also operate a food-sharing scheme, where volunteers collect yesterday’s unsold bread and other food for free and take it to others who want it – e.g. taking croissants to CV2, the Youth café in the Vennel. Sometimes excursions are arranged to go foraging or apple-picking.

Sawyer Hill, our Columban Theology student, who has now returned to the States to finish her studies, was a member of this excellent student-led project.

I find it all very encouraging. SHRUB has an online presence if you want to know more:  www.shrubcoop.org

Jenny Paton-Williams