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

Jared Laabs

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity is well known for its mission of bringing people together to create, preserve, and promote affordable homeownership and advancing racial equity in housing. But you might be surprised to learn how shopping and donating to ReStore home improvement outlets help divert 3 million pounds of refuse from being thrown in landfills.

Image of earth with text: make earth month all year long

ReStore’s Earth Saving Purpose—Diverting from Landfills

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore, located in Minneapolis and New Brighton, provide our shoppers with new and gently used home improvement products and building materials. From lighting, furniture, doors, windows, appliances, cabinets, and tools, it’s 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 non-profit. It's goal is to boost what Habitat for Humanity regularly does through its mission.

The other big difference about ReStore is the green-nature of operating.

  • When items are donated, 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 DIY-ers upcycle things into something new.

Reduce Reuse Recycle ReStore

3 million pounds have been diverted from landfills since Earth day 2020

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 million pounds in one year since last Earth Day!

Generous donations from people like you have helped greatly in this effort! Over 21,000 donations were made and 50,000 shoppers visited ReStore to make it all happen (from April 2020 to April, 2021). We thank you for your support!

3 Million pounds diverted from landfills

Recycle, then buy recycled products such as paint

ReStore also has partnered with PaintCare on paint recycling since 2015. Robin Henrichsen, ReStore Donation Manager, says “The general public can bring up to five, 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 steal and proves recycling can be a cost effective solution while protecting our environment.

Recycle your paint at ReStore

When it can't be sold, we recycle it

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 the ReStore. Finding value in scraps is just one more way to reuse precious materials.

ReStore scrap department - Chuck hard at work

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," Pete O’Keefe, ReStore Director, 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.

ReStore waste is recycles

Recycling is good business

ReStore 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.”

Twin Cities ReStore offers a free donation service

Make Earth Month all year long

If you have great recycling or environmentally friendly resources to share, add a comment below. 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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Topics: Green Initiatives, 2021

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