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  • 2020-05-13 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Continuing into this next stage announced by Governor Walz, reuse businesses are determining the safest approaches to re-opening parts of their operations and re-offering some services. Since our last COVID blog, there are some updates to note.

    If you are a reuse business and would like to include an update or request for customers/supporters, please contact us – we’d love to include your tips and/or news with the broader reuse community.

    Stay healthy, safe, and happy!Arc’s Value Village – Find Everyday Needs, Treasures, and Collectibles
    Arc’s Value Village reopened their donation drop off, with daily hours from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. They ask that you use their back donor drive-thru and remain in your vehicle the whole time. All donations must be pre-sorted at home into clothing and houseware items, and transported in sturdy bags or boxes. Clearly label your bags/boxes with “Arc,” so staff members can unload your vehicle and leave your receipt in the trunk or backseat in order to maintain social distancing. Watch this video on Arc’s site for details.

    Bridging – Furnishing Homes with Hope
    Bridging was recently deemed an essential business, allowing them to bring staff back in to begin setting up proper protocols to operate safely. As of May 4th, Bridging is open to accept drop-off donations at both their Roseville and Bloomington locations. Bridging has also resumed their fee-based residential pick-up program for curb, driveway, or garage pick-up. Read more about what items are accepted and details on their process on the Bridging site.

    Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Reused Home Improvement
    The ReStore Home Improvement Outlets are closed for business until further notice. Starting May 5th, ReStore resumed donation pickups with additional safety protocols. Use the website to schedule a donation pickup. Thank you for holding off items if you plan to drop them off at a location – ReStore is working hard to determine how they can begin accepting donations at each store location. In the meantime, consider supporting the mission of Habitat for Humanity ReStore through an online donation

    Kids Rack – Clothing, Footwear, Equipment, and Toys
    Kids Rack is doing live Facebook sales and has their online sales set up through comment "SOLD." They’re also offering personal shopping for customers, and can ship to the US or they also have curbside pick-up Monday – Saturday (limited hours). 

    Lake Country Books and More – Sellers of New and Used Books, Music, and Media
    As long as the post office keeps picking up and delivering mail, Lake Country Books is still selling – 6 days a week! Check out their selection of used books, CDs, and DVDs – a great way to entertain, education, and enlighten while staying safe at home. Be aware we are seeing delays in shipments to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan. Some go through normally, others have been delayed weeks. There is a big backlog in the Chicago distribution centers, and Media Mail moves slowest, so if you need something reasonably soon, please choose Priority Mail shipping.

    The Lamp Mender – Vintage Lighting is Our Specialty
    The Lamp Mender is temporarily closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a plan for a future visit. Find the lamps in your house that need some extra love with a repair session or an updated lamp shade fitting. You can check out the different services available at the Lamp Mender on their site today so you’re ready when they re-open!

    Minnesota Tool Library – #MTLMADE
    The Tool Library is still open, with tools available for check-out for a 7-day period. They’ve moved to contact-less operations, adjusting open hours, closing the workshop, and requiring members make an appointment for checking in/out tools – make an appointment today. You can also join the Tool Library supporting healthcare and other essential workers by helping make masks - #MTLFaceMasks4FirstResponders.

    Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles, LLC – A Special Kind of Bicycle Shop 
    During this time, Mr. Michael’s shop is open by appointment only (scheduled by phone only). Call 651-641-1037 to schedule an appointment. MMRB is only offering paid repair services and sales of basic repair parts (tires, tubes, cables, brake blocks, etc.) at this time. The waiting list to receive gift bicycles is currently closed, but please check back on July 1st to see if the list reopened. MMRB is not currently accepted donated bicycles due to limited storage, but will announce on their website when they are accepting again.

    Old School – City Pages 2019 “Best Thrift Store”
    Old Schools is currently closed due to COVID, but the basic operating expenses for them exceed $5,000 per month. If you can help preserve their legacy with a tax-deductible donation, they offer a thousand thrifty thanks! You can make a donation through several options on their site or mail a check directly to their store.

    Repair Lair – Spend Less on Gear (More on Beer)
    Repair Lair’s hours during COVID are 12-6pm Thursday – Sunday. Mask making operations are still in full swing, with a recent update that over 15,000 meters of thread have been used to make the Repair Lair masks. Purchase masks for you and your family so you’re prepared as more restrictions are lifted. Remember, you’re wearing them to protect others!
     
    RETHINK Tailoring & Sewing Lounge – A Different Option for Shopping: Revamp Your Wardrobe!
    RETHINK Tailoring & Sewing Lounge is closed due to COVID, but they are also busy making masks – if you want to contribute to these efforts for making more masks for hospitals and other organizations, make a donation today! You can also purchase a variety of fun, colorful masks for you and your household too. Don’t forget to store clothing items that you can get tailored when the Sewing Lounge reopens. 

    Rethos – Connecting You to the Tools and Skills You Need to Take Good Care of Places You Love
    Rethos has a Rehab Resources page on their website with DIY tips, links to local salvage shops, energy efficiency resources, etc. As spring arrives, Rethos is here to support you as you tackle home maintenance, repair, and rehab projects. While they’re missing working together in person, they’re excited to offer several great webinars over the upcoming weeks with a pay-what-you-can model. Check out the May classes today on their site.

    Tech Discounts/Tech Dump – Offering Technology for Every Need
    Tech Discounts: Starting May 4th, Tech Discounts retail locations in Golden Valley and St Paul will have curbside pickups – learn more on their blog. Tech Discounts also has free shipping on all purchases over $100 from their web-store.
    Tech Dump: Modified, contactless pickups will begin on Wednesday, May 6th, and then no-contact drop-offs will begin on Monday, May 11th.

  • 2020-05-01 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Updated: Register for event archive

    Interested in the work of GreenBiz and Circularity 20?  Taking place in advance of the larger Circularity 20 conference (August 25-27 in Atlanta), Circularity 20 Digital will offer a visionary keynote interview, informative panels and valuable networking opportunities - all at now cost to participants.  

    Virtual Roundtable discussions include:

    • Enabling Repair and Product Life Extension
    • Increasing Supply Chair Resilience
    • Bringing Reusable Packaging to Scale
    • Navigating Product Take-Back and Reverse Logistics
  • 2020-04-20 10:13 PM | Anonymous
    Heading into the fourth official week of MN’s Stay at Home order, where the passage of time feels surreal, it's hard to believe it's already mid-April. Yet, heading into spring, we’re reminded now more than ever how incredibly valuable life and nature are on our planet. It's fitting then, that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in the United States.

    Traditionally, Earth Day celebrations center around large, outdoor events and group clean-ups, but this year is obviously quite different. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, an important way you can show support for your local community, while still being sustainable is by incorporating more reuse in your life. When we think about reducing our environmental impact, we often focus on products/packaging when we no longer want or need them and need to manage their “end-of-life” stage (i.e. can I recycle it? can it be composted?). The reality is you have a much bigger impact if you shift your purchasing habits up-front, as the environmental impacts from making new products are typically the most damaging. Reuse (including rental and repair) extends the life of products already in existence and circulation, reducing the demand for new product manufacturing. 

    This Earth Day, commit to supporting local reuse businesses – some of them have online shopping and curbside pick-ups, some are looking for donations, and others will need your business when they re-open. While there are many invaluable reuse businesses across the state, we’re highlighting a few that shared updates on how they’re doing and the best ways for you to support them right now.

    Arc’s Value Village – Find Everyday Needs, Treasures, and Collectibles
    Arc’s Value Village stores and donation centers are temporarily closed. To help maximize your donations when Arc’s is ready to accept them in the future, pre-sort items; clothing in one box, housewares in another box, books in another box. Also, store your donations in boxes or sturdy bags (this will help with transportation too, when the time comes). Be sure to check their website for the items that won’t be accepted.

    Bridging, Inc. – Furnishing Homes with Hope
    Bridging is currently closed to the public until further notice. If it’s within your capacity and you’d like to financially support Bridging through this difficult time, you can make a donation

    Bridal Aisle Boutique – Offering What You Need & Want for Your Wedding, Formal, or Pageant Event
    Bridal Aisle Boutique is selling inventory and retail fixtures at fantastic prices. If you’re in the process of planning your wedding, the Bridal Aisle Team should be on your list!

    Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Reused Home Improvement
    The ReStore Home Improvement Outlets are closed for business until further notice. If you were planning to shop at our ReStore during this time, consider instead supporting our mission through an online donation today.

    Kids Rack – Clothing, Footwear, Equipment, and Toys
    Kids Rack is doing live Facebook sales and has their online sales set up through commentSOLD. They’re also offering personal shopping for customers, and can ship to the US or they also have curbside pick-up Monday – Saturday (limited hours). 

    Lake Country Books and More – Sellers of New and Used Books, Music, and Media
    As long as the post office keeps picking up and delivering mail, Lake Country Books is still selling – 6 days a week! Check out their selection of used books, CDs, and DVDs – a great way to entertain, education, and enlighten while staying safe at home.

    Minnesota Tool Library – #MTLMADE
    Find yourself with extra cash from your stimulus or tax return? Pay it forward and support the MN Tool library – buy/renew your tool library membership, make a donation, or give an e-gift card to your family and friends.

    Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles, LLC – A Special Kind of Bicycle Shop 
    During this time, Mr. Michael’s shop is open by appointment only (scheduled by phone only). Call 651-641-1037 to schedule an appointment to purchase reused bicycles and/or to drop off a bicycle for repair.

    Repair Lair – Spend Less on Gear (More on Beer)
    Repair Lair is busy making masks – in fact they’re running out of fabric! If you have fabric (flat bed sheets?!), drop it off during store hours Thursday – Sunday from noon to 6:00 pm. Or stop by to pick up a mask at a great price.

    reTHINK Tailoring & Sewing Lounge – A Different Option for Shopping: Revamp Your Wardrobe!
    reTHINK Tailoring is also busy making masks – if you want to contribute to these efforts for making more masks for hospitals and other organizations, make a donation today!

    Rethos – Connecting You to the Tools and Skills You Need to Take Good Care of Places You Love
    Rethos has a Rehab Resources page on their website with DIY tips, links to local salvage shops, energy efficiency resources, etc. As spring arrives, Rethos is here to support you as you tackle home maintenance, repair, and rehab projects. Follow them on social media too for specific project tips you can use right now!

    Tech Discounts – Offering Technology for Every Need
    With the shift to working remotely and distance learning, a lot of us have been faced with new technology needs. Rather than spend an arm and a leg on new tech, purchase refurbished, affordable options from Tech Discounts online!
  • 2020-04-02 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Reuse, repair and rental business owners: You are a valuable part of the reuse community and we want to help you weather this crisis.  We know that like you, your employees are invested in the circular economy so we want to share this opportunity to support you and your teams.

    Consider taking advantage of the forgivable loan program to bridge your businesses and staff for the coming months through the Small Business Association Paycheck Protection Program.  Loans become available Friday, April 3, 2020 and there will be high demand.  Our local advisors recommend that you get your application to your business bank Friday or as soon as possible.

    U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • 2020-01-27 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Reuse, rental, and repair businesses make an impact on their community, and ReUSE Minnesota is working on measuring it. The stories of our economic, environmental, and social impact, when supplemented with data, are persuasive tools for advertising and advocacy.

    This week, we are kicking off this project with a quick 2-minute survey. We are asking all reuse, rental, and repair businesses in Minnesota to complete a survey, telling us a little bit about each business' activities, staff, mission, and the impact it is making.

    Businesses that participate will receive an Impact Report that provides some insights to the initial measurements, as well as a strategy guide for using stories to promote and advocate for business. 

    Click here for more information and instructions for taking this survey.

  • 2020-01-06 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Did you know? The Minneapolis Toy Library is a lending program for families with children ages birth - 5 years. Like a book library, you can check out toys, take them home for up to 4 weeks, and then exchange them for new ones when you return!

    With a mission to reduce waste, promote development, and build community, the Minnesota Toy Library offers a sliding scale for their annual membership ($40-$100) depending on what works best for your family.

    Located in the basement of the Richfield Lutheran Church, the toy library offers an opportunity for families to connect with one another while supporting their child(ren)’s development through play and reducing their impact on the environment.

    Toys are broken up into categories:

    • Board Games
    • Blocks
    • Dramatic Play
    • Fine Motor
    • Large Motor
    • Literacy
    • Manipulatives
    • Math and Cognitive
    • Music
    • Puzzles
    • Science and Sensory
    • Vehicles
    • Toy Library Kits (this includes trip kits and birthday kits) 

    Here are some helpful tips for your first visit:

    • They accept cash, check or credit 
    • You'll fill out a digital membership form at the library
    • Consider signing up for our volunteer membership for only $20 (check out the details on the membership page!)
    • Bring a large bag to haul your toys home
    • There is a small flight of stairs you have to go down - leave strollers outside or right inside the doors
    Check out MplsToyLibrary.org for more information!
  • 2019-09-09 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    ReUSE Minnesota has been busy building a reuse movement statewide, and we’re excited to launch our first ever regional conference! The day will be an energizing gathering for our incredible community to connect and strengthen Minnesota’s reuse, rental, and repair sectors. Here’s everything you need to know about the conference on Monday, November 4th, 2019.

    Where will it be?

    The conference will at the Humphrey School Conference Center at the University of Minnesota

    What will the day look like?

    You can check out the schedule-at-a-glance here. Like a typical conference, you’ll hear an inspiring keynote address, break into your first session, eat lunch and view the tabling exhibits, attend the next two sessions, and finally, talk with your old and new friends over drinks and snacks at the networking happy hour. We will announce our speakers soon, and update our online schedule and this post. 

    Who should attend?

    The conference is open to everyone interested in reuse. Here are a few example attendees::

    • Reuse business owners. This may include more businesses than you think! People who work in repurposing, upcycling, remanufacturing, deconstruction, second-hand stores, tool and toy rentals, electronics repair, antiques, and much more.

    • People interested in starting a reuse business. One of the presentations will focus on how to start a reuse business, and another will focus on effective marketing and retail strategies - come learn some best practices and next steps!

    • Policymakers and local government leaders. We need reuse legislation to reinforce these practices, and establish them as the norm for businesses and consumers across the state. HF 1138 passed out of two Minnesota House committees this session, and came very close to getting the first floor vote on Right to Repair legislation nationwide. At the conference we’ll discuss existing and anticipated policies,  and how to most effectively integrate reuse into municipal programs.

    • Reuse activists and advocates. More sessions will explore how to measure the impacts of reuse, including its social, economic, and environmental effects.

    Okay, I’m there. How do I register?

    In Minnesota alone, there are over 7,000 reuse, repair, and rental businesses and organizations. You’re invited to support the growth of these industries and connect with the people making reuse happen at our 2019 conference! Register here.

    Take advantage of early bird rates through September 30!

  • 2019-08-29 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    I am pleased to announce that Management HQ (MHQ), ReUSE Minnesota’s association management partner, has hired a permanent executive director to serve ReUSE Minnesota (ReUSE).  Jen Newberg began her work as the ReUSE Executive Director on Monday, August 12, 2019.

    After a deliberate and thorough search process, we are pleased to announce the selection of Jen to lead ReUSE.  She shares our vision of a strong Minnesota reuse economy, and she has extensive experience in leadership and development positions with social service nonprofits.

    Prior to her selection as the ReUSE Executive Director, Jen served as the Director of Development for Episcopal Homes Foundation of Minnesota; Director of Individual and Planned Giving for YWCA Minneapolis; and Director of Philanthropy Services at Allina Health.

    Jen says of the opportunity to serve as Executive Director of ReUSE “I’m authentically interested in supporting the strategic vision and leading the operations of ReUSE Minnesota. So far, my career has focused on creating positive change in the world through philanthropy and ReUSE Minnesota builds on that by engaging Minnesotans in creating change through more sustainable living.”

    In her fundraising roles she has worked closely with board members and committee volunteers in developing relationships, visioning goals, project and budget planning, supporting volunteers in decision-making and holding teams accountable to project milestones.

    With a solid leadership team selected, I am confident that ReUSE will expand our mission to drive forward reuse in our communities.

    Sincerely,

    Jenny Kedward, Board of Directors President
    ReUSE Minnesota

  • 2019-08-28 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    This month's featured member is the City of St. Louis Park. In April 2019 the City of St. Louis Park celebrated the 35th anniversary of its curbside recycling program. Over the years, the city has worked hard to help residents and businesses recycle better. However, the city now has a comprehensive plan and a climate action plan that seek significant reductions in waste. And while recycling and composting have environmental benefits, preventing and reducing waste offers the most significant impact. How, as a municipality, can we encourage residents to consider reuse and repair to reduce waste?
     
    In October 2017, the city hosted its first clothing swap. 80 people attended and brought 920 pounds of clothing. The swap has been held annually since, with attendance reaching 190 people from 20 cities this July (and 2,315 pounds of clothing and accessories!). At the events, approximately 60% of the clothing is swapped and taken home by attendees. The rest is donated to local nonprofits, with a small amount being set aside for textile recycling. The St. Louis Park Emergency Program (STEP) comes at the end of each event to select items for their clothing and coat closets. The remaining items have gone to ARC Value Village, PRISM, and Old School by Steeple People.

    Check out a video of a recent swap here!

    The city hosted gardener’s swaps in spring 2018 and 2019, aimed at encouraging the reuse of yard and garden tools, while also providing space for swapping plants. The event provided a perfect space to match up people getting out of gardening with new gardeners and homeowners. The swap is now an annual event – mark your calendar for May 12, 2020!

    Do you want to be a featured Member Highlight in upcoming newsletters? Join ReUSE Minnesota as an organizational member and you could be chosen!

  • 2019-08-23 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    If you’ve been by the Eco Experience, you may have noticed some fantastic furniture pieces in our Repair & Reuse Room. For this year’s fair, ReUSE Minnesota partnered with four talented individuals to create our reused living room. Check them out, and explore their offerings before you head to a place selling new, less durable, and less sustainable options! As you can see by the measures below, a reused option can have a big impact!

    Salvaged Wood & Marble Slab Dining Room Table
    Andy Weld, Rovan Handcrafted Furniture

    Buying refurbished instead of new:
      • diverts 350lbs of material from going to landfill
      • eliminates 130 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

    If every household in Minnesota bought a table like this instead of a newly manufactured one, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 27.5 million gallons of gasoline.** 

    Restyled Antique Settee with Sustainable Fiber Stuffing and Reclaimed Textiles
    Helen Miller, Miller UpholsteringBuying refurbished instead of new:

      • diverts 125lbs of material from going to landfill
      • eliminates 27 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

    If every household in Minnesota bought a piece of furniture like this instead of a newly manufactured one, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 5.5 million gallons of gasoline.** 

    Overdyed Reused Rug
    Carter Averbeck , Omforme Design

    Buying refurbished instead of new:

      • diverts 89lbs of material from going to landfill
      • eliminates 69 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

    If every household in Minnesota bought a rug like this instead of a newly manufactured one, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 14.5 million gallons of gasoline.**

    Reused Leather Belt Chair
    Carter Averbeck, Omforme Design

    Buying refurbished instead of new:

      • diverts 66lbs of material from going to landfill
      • eliminates 33 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

    If every household in Minnesota bought a chair like this instead of a newly manufactured one, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 7 million gallons of gasoline.**

    Reconstructed Glass Top End Table
    Kim Yeager, Lark Nest Design

    Buying refurbished instead of new:

      • diverts 30lbs of material from going to landfill
      • eliminates 15 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

    If every household in Minnesota bought a table like this instead of a newly manufactured table, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 3 million gallons of gasoline.**


    *Greenhouse gas emissions calculated with Sustainable Minds© Life Cycle Assessment Tool
    ** Equivalencies calculated with US EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

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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