Section: News

Community-sharing app CoCycle promotes sustainability

Community-sharing app CoCycle promotes sustainability

COURTESY OF COCYCLE TEAM

On Tuesday, the Kenyon Office of Green Initiatives (KOGI) announced the launch of the beta version of a community-sharing app called CoCycle. The app will promote sustainability by allowing students to share and receive items that they don’t want or need anymore. CoCycle is a part of Kenyon’s plan to improve sustainability and support the College’s 2040 Carbon Neutrality Master Plan

CoCycle was first introduced as a website application last spring, and it received positive feedback from the student body. It was widely used by students at the end of the spring 2023 semester, garnering over 100 sign ups across four days. According to KOGI Student Intern and Developer of CoCycle Dennis Frimpong ’25, KOGI wanted to focus on “usability before aesthetics.” After receiving positive feedback on the webapp, Frimpong began developing the CoCycle app. 

The platform is making a return in its beta version as the semester winds down, in anticipation of the influx of items many Kenyon students leave behind as they move out of their apartments and residence halls. The idea was initially developed because of the trend toward less social gathering, which affected the turnout at the end of the year flea market. “[KOGI] wanted to give students a wide range of time to be able to share items rather than a one day event,” Frimpong wrote in an email to the Collegian

Frimpong explained that the app is designed to reduce waste and decrease Kenyon’s carbon emissions. It will ensure that discarded belongings don’t end up in landfills or the recycling when they could be reused. Items that students can share on CoCycle include electronics, furniture and slightly used clothes and books, including textbooks. 

The updated iteration of CoCyle brings new features, including “visualizing your carbon impact and sharing items to local communities in Knox County,” according to KOGI’s email. This includes data visualizations of the amount of paper students personally print, and how much of a tree they have correspondingly used. Donating to eligible charity organizations on CoCycle will allow people to earn tax credits. “Donors [can] itemize their donation for tax credit during the next tax year,” Frimpong said. “Admin of CoCycle will help users gain receipts of donations if needed, or convert the dollar value of their donations for them. This will only apply to donations that will be sent to eligible charity/nonprofits such as Goodwill.”

The app will also contain a leaderboard shared with other colleges in the Great Lakes region, so students can visualize how Kenyon performs in comparison to similar institutions. “This will help concerned alumni and prospective students and their families to appreciate the sustainability work of Kenyon [and], ultimately, help… their college choices,” Frimpong said. Any unclaimed items will be shared with Goodwill or other charity organizations in the area via the Office of Community Partnerships. 

Students and faculty have the opportunity to join a waitlist which will provide them with early access to CoCycle before the app’s official launch. KOGI plans to release more information about the app in the coming weeks.

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