If you’ve ever fixed something yourself you know the feeling of accomplishment it leaves you with. Sometimes it is a small repair, requiring a few squirts of super glue, and other times it is a large feat, requiring hours of careful disassembly and rebuilding. Sharing these skills with young people is an incredibly important part of ensuring that our vision of a reuse-based society continues to come to fruition.
This vision is a large part of why we reapplied for Hennepin County’s Green Partners grant funding this year. Our grant allows us the opportunity to work with high school students to talk about reuse and give hands on time to put what is learned into practice. While much of our grant is focused on time in the classroom, after our partnership with Roosevelt High School last spring, and seeing the student interest in mending, we wanted to expand what we could offer. Using the student-led free thrift store (featured last spring in the Star Tribune) as an anchor, we included a request for funds to offer an extracurricular time for learning mending skills. The school’s club time, which happens midday on Fridays so it is accessible to all students, offered the perfect time to implement this project.
On Friday, December 1, we launched Club Mend. The club will convene twice a month starting in January, and will run through the end of the school year. Our grant allowed us to hire an instructor - Kris - who has a background in costuming and loves to upcycle and modify garments. Kris will guide the students on topics such as learning machine repair basics, how to alter a shirt for a better fit, and more. In the kick off session, students shared what they were interested in learning, their experience with sewing and mending, and got some hands on practice by sewing fabric yo-yos, which may be familiar to people who have seen them as adornments or sewn together by the hundreds to create intricate quilts. We are excited to continue engaging students in building their mending skills in 2024!
Want to get involved? If this kind of thing excites you, we’d love to get you involved. We are seeking a few volunteers to help the instructor with setup, cleanup, and some basic sewing skills such as threading needles and tying knots. Bonus, you get to learn some mending skills! Learn more here.
L to R: Instructor Kris demonstrates for the students; a student's completed yo-yo;
RHS teacher Shannon Nordby proudly shows a recent repair made using
visible mending techniques learned in last spring's class.
Reuse Minnesota is pleased to share the results of our recent board election. Members used ranked-choice voting to elect the following six individuals who will serve from January 2024 through December 2025.
ReturningAnnika Bergen, 3rd termPetrina Rhines, 2nd termDustin Siemers, 2nd term
NewMargo AshmoreRita ColeEmily Noyes
These individuals represent a variety of sectors including nonprofit, government, and private business. They also bring a wide expanse of experience including fundraising, board governance, and business ownership. We look forward to learning from them and greatly appreciate their willingness to share their skills to help grow Reuse Minnesota!
Reuse Minnesota is delighted to announce that we have selected Cat Polivoda to create a business development training program for individuals interested in starting or expanding a resale-based business in Minnesota. Cat is the respected owner of Cake Plus-Size Resale, and her combination of resale and training experience, accomplishments in other roles, and passion for cultivating community make her a great choice for this role.
Cat’s training experience includes 6 years of onboarding staff and interns. She has created employee training guides, promoted ongoing development of shop skills, and developed proprietary training on outright buying for plus-size clothing resale. She previously fostered strong relationships as an instructor at a community college and as the director of growth for a media arts nonprofit. We look forward to the energy and experience Cat brings to this project!
Over the winter, a handbook and class curriculum will be developed as an ongoing resource for Reuse Minnesota and the reuse community in Minnesota. The first iteration of the training will be offered in-person in the Twin Cities metro area in Spring 2024, and will include up to 25 participants. Sessions will explore a wide variety of business themes catered to the resale/secondhand environment including business basics of resale, product procurement, and growing a resale business.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the training, we encourage you to apply. The application will be used to help us select a varied and diverse group of current and prospective reuse business owners for this first training series. A small stipend will be provided to those who complete the course and provide feedback through a final survey.
Be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay connected with all Reuse Minnesota has to offer! This project is funded by the State of Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF).
We are excited to announce that we have been awarded a $23,500 Hennepin County Green Partners youth environmental education grant! This funding will allow us to continue building and expanding our reuse curriculum for high school students. We will focus our outreach at Roosevelt High, Edison High, and Longfellow Alternative High schools. Through hands-on activities, guest speakers, and classroom-led discussion, students will learn about reuse, repair, resale, and rental, and explore reuse as a potential career.
We thank the Hennepin County Green Partners environmental education program for the opportunity to continue the work we started through this program in 2022.
Click here for a list of the other grant recipients.
Reuse Minnesota is seeking an individual or firm that is well-versed in creating business development trainings to create a training program focused on supporting individuals interested in starting or expanding resale-based businesses in the state of Minnesota. The goal of the training is to expand reuse in the state by creating professional development opportunities in the reuse sector.
Qualified applicants should have experience creating professional and/or business development training. Familiarity with the reuse sector is ideal, but not required. Preference for contractors based in Minnesota, but not required.
The training will initially be offered once as part of this contract. Future trainings will be offered by Reuse Minnesota. All materials created for the training will become property of Reuse Minnesota upon completion of the contract.
Proposals due October 6. See the full RFP details here.
Funding for this project is from the State of Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF).
In spring 2023, Reuse Minnesota shared that we were starting a campaign to create a scholarship fund for small business memberships. We are excited to share that, thanks to the generosity of many individuals, we have reached our initial goal to get the fund started, and we are now accepting applications!
Who is eligible?
Given the greatest need, these scholarships are available for small organizations/businesses with annual operating budgets of less than $500,000.
Priority will be given to organizations that meet one or more of the following:
Interested organizations can apply here. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
We will continue raising funds toward this effort. Our goal is to raise enough each year to cover membership for at least 20 organizations. If you would like to support this effort, please consider a donation today.
Thank you for your support for Reuse Minnesota! Together we are building regenerative, reuse-centered communities in our state!
Grant funding available!
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is excited to announce that the Greater Minnesota Waste Reduction, Reuse, Recycling and Composting Grant, formerly the Greater Minnesota Recycling and Composting Grant, is now open for applications. Please click here to access the RFP and detailed application information.
Greater Minnesota Waste Reduction, Reuse, Recycling and Composting Grant
MPCA is offering approximately $1 million for projects that increase the efficiency or effectiveness of waste reduction, reuse, recycling, or composting programs. Reducing the amount of reusable, recyclable and compostable materials entering landfills in Greater Minnesota communities benefits the environment as well as local economies.
The Minnesota Fair Repair coalition recently celebrated the signing of the Digital Fair Repair law with a party! Thanks to our host, Repowered, for offering the space to hold our gathering and giving us a behind-the-scenes tour of the work they do. We thanked our lead authors, committee chairs, Attorney General Ellison, advocates, and supporters who have worked diligently over the last 8 years to get the law passed.
We recognized some of our champions with wooden plaques made from repurposed shelves and RAM strips! Thanks to TechFixers for helping with the creation of the plaques.
We are proud of all of you and your collective effort to make this historic event possible!
Members of the Minnesota Fair Repair coalition:
Alta Technologies Inc.
Association of Recycling Managers (ARM)
Eureka Recycling MN
Land Stewardship Project (LSP)
Minnesota Farmers Union
Minnesota Tech for Success
Partnership on Waste and Energy (PWE)
Reuse MinnesotaSolid Waste Administrators Association (SWAA)
Repair.org - The Repair AssociationU.S. PIRGVibrant Technologies
World Data Products
Reuse Minnesota's Executive Director Emily Barker was invited on the "Ask the Actual Expert" segment of myTalk 107.1 - Minneapolis/St. Paul Shop Girls show to talk about fix-it clinics! The interview took place during an actual Dakota County Government clinic in Farmington.
Jump to (18:25): https://www.mytalk1071.com/episode/7-15-23-hr-2-when-is-a-small-appliance-worth-fixing/
Interested in attending an upcoming fix-it clinic near you? Check out our events calendar: reusemn.org/events.
Our 2022 study measuring the statewide impacts of reuse was recently highlighted by Streets.mn. The benefits of reuse, repair and rental have played a part in the creation of 36,000-54,000 jobs per year, the avoidance of approximately 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year, and the generation of between $3.1 and $4.7 billion in revenue per year.
As an organization or individual, where are you prioritizing your waste reduction actions?https://streets.mn/2023/07/21/a-circular-economy-for-minnesota/
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.
Contact usEmail Reuse Minnesota612-314-6283reusemn.org
© 2022 Reuse Minnesota. All rights reserved. | Reuse Minnesota is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.