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Reuse in real estate

2023-03-28 1:33 PM | Deleted user

Recently, Reuse Minnesota Executive Director, Emily Barker joined Natalie Heneghan, former Rethos Education Manager who now works for Habitat for Humanity La Crosse, for an online class centered around Reuse for Real Estate.

The class introduced Minnesota real estate agents to climate-conscious resources that they can pass along to their clients. While many consumers think sustainability requires new "green" products, reused materials are our best option to reduce our carbon emissions and energy usage. The goal of the class is to equip real estate agents with the most up-to-date and localized resources in the Twin Cities reuse economy.

In the class, real estate professionals learned about the environmental, social, and economic benefits of reuse in Minnesota and how they can take part in sustainable living and material management. Before making specific recommendations for real estate agents and building owners, the instructors covered how reuse lowers greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need for new materials and giving the old materials new life. Reuse in real estate also greatly reduces the amount of bulky and heavy materials sent off to landfills. Specific topics covered included:

  • Ways to sustainably and reliably maintain your home: Small projects add up to big reductions in energy costs, wasteful renovations or repairs, and operational emissions

  • Resources for DIY reuse projects: Online and local resources for guidance and knowledge for various DIY reuse projects in and around your home

  • Deconstruction and salvage: Sustainable alternatives to the demolition of buildings including information on properties and projects that may qualify for grant funding. (Currently only in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington counties.)

  • Reuse of building materials and the best places to buy used materials: Where you can participate in the circular economy and “close the loop” by buying used and often vintage building materials, home goods, and furniture.

  • Sustainable management of unwanted household items: With warmer weather comes spring cleaning. Tips for managing unwanted home goods, where to donate, and reducing waste generated from downsizing.

  • And more!Fix-it clinics, the Twin Cities salvage market, and how reuse in real estate can reduce costs, particularly for new homeowners.

While old homes may deter potential homebuyers, these properties have a history that can be told and sold. Old homes have character and cultural significance that new homes cannot compete with. With some simple DIY projects, we can preserve the history and uniqueness of old homes and address any flaws that may concern home buyers. There is value in historic homes and buildings. Reuse starts with you. Reuse Minnesota and Rethos invite you to learn how you can make an impact by engaging in reuse from your home and community. 

A recording of the presentation can be seen on Reuse Minnesota’s YouTube channel. If you are interested in attending the class in the future, which real estate agents can take for 1 CE, check out Rethos’s class offerings.

Reuse Minnesota was founded in 2012 and is a member-based nonprofit that supports repair, resale, and rental businesses, bringing visibility to the reuse sector as a means to lower our state's impact on the environment.

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