At the Antarctic Sun, a publication about US research bases on the southernmost continent, a feature on "Skua," the culture of reuse and recycling.
The article focuses on McMurdo Station, the largest research base in the U.S. Antarctic Program, with a summertime population of about 850 people.
Skua is a concept. It is a noun and a verb. In prosaic terms, it is Goodwill meets the free box. Poetically, some describe it as a karmic recycling of goods.
“Skua is a big part of the culture,” says Kate Austin, a communications operator at MacOps, the communications center for USAP field operations, during a visit to Skua Central, a 300-square-foot shack on the edge of McMurdo where unwanted clothing, electronics and other sundry items go to await new owners.
“What I like about Skua is the whole attitude in the program of making do,” she says. “There’s a lot of times in the program where you have to figure it out. We don’t always have assets we need, but we still make it happen.”