Friday, 25 September 2015

ReStore - Reducing Waste with Habitat for Humanity

When we moved three years ago, our semi-new couch couldn't fit through the door.  It sat in the garage for a whole year, reminding us of our poor planning and unfortunate waste of a good piece of furniture - but wait!  Just like an unused craft kit is happily accepted at the Reuse Centre, gently used furniture is welcomed at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore!  I called for a pick up and that was that.

Welcome to the ReStore!
I thought very little of the ReStore again until several months ago, when my neighbour started developing her basement.  Costs for all-new building materials were outside her budget, but she knew about the ReStore's other side. They offer reasonably priced building materials. Together, we went for a visit.

The ReStore North location is a medium-sized warehouse. I expected to find a lot of furniture, but it couches, tables, and chairs actually took up very little of the floor space.  Instead there were pallets and shelves full of tile, carpet, hinges, and screws.  There was also an area for light fixtures, sinks, and kitchen cabinets.

Look at all of that flooring!
I learned that the ReStore is "a retail outlet that sells new and gently used building materials and home improvement items".  The stock is made up completely of donations from individuals and businesses. Also, like the Reuse Centre, they promote waste reduction through reuse. Since opening in 2000, they have diverted "over 12,000 tons  of reusable and resalable items from local landfills."

My neighbour found carpet and underlay for less than half the price of new materials(likely a donation from a building site, where the end of roll wasn't usable).  I eyed kitchen cabinets that I later learned may have been part of their Kitchen Salvage Program, which enables residents to donate their whole kitchens before renovations.  

Need new baseboards or wainscoting? I found plenty!
A kitchen reno is probably quite a few years away for me, but in the meantime I'll definitely look to ReStore for any of my future home improvement project supplies.  Aside from the cost savings, I'll know my purchases will help reduce landfill waste and support a good cause.  

All proceeds from ReStore fund Habitat for Humanity's administration costs. This means that every dollar donated directly to Habitat for Humanity goes directly to building homes and serving families.

Read more about Habitat for Humanity here

- Lana (Volunteer)

All photos taken by Lana and published with permission of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton.

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