Sustainability in practice: Pomona EcoReps host Walker Flea Market

The Walker Flea Market is student-run and held monthly on Walker Beach. (Siena Swift • The Student Life)

On Sunday Nov. 13, from 2 to 5 p.m., the Pomona College EcoReps will host another of its beloved Walker Flea Markets. This month’s theme is No Waste November, and the Pomona EcoReps have planned to make it an unforgettable event.

The Walker Flea Market was first organized in 2019 to promote sustainability and community across the 5Cs. After a hiatus due to COVID-19, the Pomona EcoReps decided to revamp the event last year. The goal, however, remains the same: to promote sustainability. 

The Walker Flea Market is student-run and held monthly on Walker Beach. A range of 5C student vendors bring their talents to Walker to sell their handmade products. 

“It’s anything from vintage clothing, to handmade jewelry, to crocheted little cute items, to prints and photographs,” Head EcoRep Diana Castellanos PO ’24 said.

“It’s … just cute to see people come shop and then just sit down on Walker Beach and enjoy the tunes for a little while.”

Diana Castellanos PO '24

However, the Walker Flea Market has been slightly transformed this year. On top of student vendors, there will also be live music. The Pomona EcoReps have joined forces with MuCo, the 5C Music Coalition, to organize student bands to play at the market. 

“It’s … just cute to see people come shop and then just sit down on Walker Beach and enjoy the tunes for a little while,” Castellanos said. 

The flea markets aren’t just a student affair; according to Castellanos, people from around the Claremont area also will bring their families and relax on the grass, listening to music and enjoying the afternoon. 

The event will include a stand where EcoReps will give out free sustainable items related to the theme of No Waste November. During previous markets, they’ve given out free succulents and pots, mesh market bags and seedling pots. This month, they will be giving out resealable bags, beeswax wraps and tupperware to replace wasteful plastic ziploc bags.

The market offers attendees a chance to browse a myriad of student-created products without even needing to leave campus.

“When you buy from a student who spent time and care making these prints, it’s made more sustainably, and it’s not mass produced,” Castellanos said.

Affiliated with the college’s Sustainability Office, the Pomona EcoReps aim to increase awareness about the ways students can bolster their sustainability efforts on campus. 

“Our main job is to kind of be a bridge between admin, the [Sustainability Office] and the students,” Castellanos said.

The Sustainability Office provides sustainable products and resources in order to create a more environmentally aware campus. Resources vary from drying racks and lightbulbs to menstrual cups and more. 

The Sustainability Office and EcoReps are also responsible for the Walker Free Room and Book Room. The Free Room takes clothing donations from students and is open Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. with free clothes for students. The Book Room, open at the same time, sells softcover books for $1, hardcovers for $2 and textbooks for $10.

The Walker Flea Market is just one way to embrace sustainability at the 5Cs, and as Castellanos puts it, you get to participate in the “great, great, great vibe,” while you’re at it.

Events and sustainability actions can be found on the Pomona EcoReps instagram page, @pomonaecoreps.

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