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Here's how you can make Earth Month last all year long

Here's how you can make Earth Month last all year long

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity is well known for its mission of bringing people together to create, preserve, and promote affordable homeownership and to advance racial equity in housing. But you might be surprised to learn how shopping and donating to ReStore home improvement outlets help divert 3.9 million pounds of refuse from being thrown in landfills annually.

Make Earth Month last all year long.

ReStore’s Earth-Saving Purpose: Diverting from Landfills

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore, with locations in both Minneapolis and New Brighton, provides our shoppers with new and gently used home improvement products and building materials. From lighting, furniture, doors, windows, appliances, cabinets, and tools, ReStore is the perfect place to shop for deals on small projects or your upcoming home remodel.

ReStore outlets are open to the public just like many other retailers, but have a couple of big differences compared to big box stores. The first is that ReStore is a nonprofit. Its goal is to boost Twin Cities Habitat's mission.

The other big difference is that ReStore has a direct, positive impact on the environment:

  • When you donate items, you're reducing the amount of waste and the need to manufacture new items.

  • When you shop, you're reusing things that still have value.

  • Many items can also be diverted from landfills by recycling them. The store breaks down non-salable items to be recycled or for DIYers to upcycle them into something new.

A blue chair with the text "reduce, reuse, recycle" and "donate, shop, DIY".

3.9 Million Pounds Diverted From Landfills

We use a simple formula to estimate the weight of items diverted from landfills. Every dollar in sales equates to 1.3 pounds. That’s 3.9 million pounds last year!

Generous donations from people like you have helped greatly in this effort! From July 2021 to July 2022, over 20,780 donations were made and more than 70,490 shoppers visited ReStore to make it all happen. We thank you for your support!

Recycle, Then Buy Recycled Paint

ReStore also has partnered with PaintCare on paint recycling since 2015. Robin Henrichsen, Director of ReStore Operations, says “The general public can bring up to five one-gallon containers of paint to us to be recycled for free. We have recycled thousands of gallons of paint at our locations.” And to top it off, that recycled paint comes back to ReStore as Amazon Paint. At only $16 a gallon, it’s a great deal and proves recycling can be a cost-effective solution while protecting our environment.

Paint at ReStore.

When It Can't Be Sold, We Recycle

ReStore volunteers also collect and sort metals that can be recycled from non-salable items. Copper tubing, faucets, and other items are broken down and separated into buckets. This process regularly delivers over $1,000 a month back to ReStore. Finding value in scraps is just one more way to reuse precious materials.

Volunteer Chuck working on metal recycling.

Even Trash Can Be Reused

"As a component of running our retail store and taking in useful building material donations, we inevitably process a high volume of construction and debris waste," Robin says. “ReStore takes great care to sort and recycle any end-of-life materials via a partnership with Atomic Recycling.”

Atomic Recycling separates the material and provides a monthly report on percentages of material type and destination. On average 70% of those dumpster loads make their way back into a recycling program. Roughly 21.15 tons a month from both outlets equal an additional 507,600 pounds (253.8 tons) of material that doesn't make its way to a landfill.

70% of our dumpster loads make their way back into a recycling center.

Recycling is Good Business

ReStore Senior Manager Jill Carmody explains, “We want to be good stewards of the donations that we receive. Finding the next home for our items honors each and every donation. Some items have become obsolete and cannot be resold. Recycling gives us a chance to breath a new life into the product. Every time we are diverting something from being buried in the earth is a win for the future. It is a big reason that donors are turning to us with their donation. I hear all the time, ‘I just can’t throw this away in the trash. There is value here.’ We try to find the value in everything.”

ReStore trucks.

Make Earth Month Last All Year Long

We hope you make ReStore a regular stop when buying home improvement items or donating items you no longer need that have value—even after Earth Month ends.

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