New student marketplace tackles waste on campus
11th November 2020
Third year economics student Harriet Noy is determined to tackle single-use plastic and waste on university campuses. The entrepreneurial University of Birmingham student has launched a zero-waste student marketplace called Hazaar.
Harriet is in the process of creating a tailored app to run this platform on, but it currently runs on Facebook Marketplace. The premise is that of a simple circular economy model – focusing on reducing consumption of products, and increasing lifespan by reusing items that would often be thrown away. In short; students can buy and sell products to other nearby students.
Hazaar is already available to 11,000 students at 35 UK universities, and Harriet is keen to expand its reach further.
Harriet said: “Last year I founded Plastic-free UOB, a society which works tirelessly to reduce plastic waste at our university. The society now has 400 active members. I am passionate about finding more sustainable ways of living and making a difference.
“I noticed that my friends and I were always ‘amazon priming’ things that were only used once (e.g. a fancy-dress costume for sports nights), so I created a Facebook marketplace called Hazaar at UoB for students to buy and sell their preloved but useful items.
“This zero-waste marketplace is now thriving at UoB, we have over 4000 students on the page. I am determined to offer the same opportunity to all universities in the UK and we should have the app running by Christmas.”
This local zero-waste marketplace model is for students specifically. While there are other marketplaces available, by creating a platform bespoke for students, it means:
- Course and club specific items like textbooks and uniforms can be more readily bought by students for less;
- End-of-term appliances can be reused by other students, without needing to spend huge amounts;
- Students are able to buy longer lasting and more sustainable products because they can regain some of the cost and thus afford higher quality;
- Students on campuses are able to arrange collection easily cutting out travel miles;
- Students are not ordering products online and then incurring huge amounts of packaging and plastic waste;
- There is more awareness raising and education on campus about the need to reduce waste and live more sustainably;
- Students acquire the skills and mindset to enable them to continue to live like this once they graduate.
Student waste is a huge issue that university campuses are trying to tackle, particularly as many are trying to move towards a circular economy model for the whole institution. One of the biggest issues surround when students leave their accommodation every term, but particularly at the end of the year. The EAUC has a guide on tackling end of term waste available
on the Sustainability Exchange. Many institutions collect the items student’s throwaway at this point and donate them to charity – the British Heart Foundation runs the ‘Pack for Good’ initiative which does just this. Some institutions run similar marketplaces, but for institutions without such a platform, Hazaar is a great initiative.
Harriet notes that there are a strict set of COVID-19 procedures in place at the moment for the platform to ensure students are adhering to Government Guidelines.
Hazaar is available at:
EAUC really encourages student initiatives like this that aim to improve sustainability, and has various categories in its Green Gown Awards
that foster this type of activity, including ‘Student Engagement’ and ‘Sustainability Champion (student)’. You can find out more about these on the Sustainability Exchange
For more information about Hazaar, you can get in touch with Harriet at email@example.com
You can follow Hazaar on Instagram- @justhazaar
and Twitter- @justhazaar