Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Week 25: Eco-Thrift

I think we all have a bit of treasure hunter in us, from kids sifting through a sandbox looking for pennies to archaeologists digging their way through history. And I also believe the old adage that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Now that many of us are trying to be more responsible about what we throw in the trash, what happens to all those potential treasures?

Resale, that’s what. I love how resale extends an item’s usefulness. I’m pretty good about donating, but I admit I buy more things new than used. In the interest of being eco-friendly, I’m trying to change that. But I have no patience for garage sales, and sprawling flea markets overwhelm me. I can go in looking for one thing, and when I finally find my way out of the labyrinthine recesses hours later, I’m dehydrated and in need of a haircut.






















But I found a shop downtown that offers the best of resale: it’s green/local, it has interesting stuff and friendly people, and it’s small enough that I don’t need to leave a trail of breadcrumbs from the door. Eco-Thrift is a community-based thrift store dedicated to the three ‘R’s’ of sustainability: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. According to the website, the store is 100% wind-powered, volunteer-powered, and focused on zero waste. Items are donated locally and sold locally, and Eco-Thrift gives a portion of their proceeds to other like-minded organizations in the area.






















It appears that I’m not the only one who has made the the resolution to buy resale more often this year, because January’s business at Eco-Thrift was double last year’s. I saw evidence of that in the abundance of items, from the practical to the quirky-must-have, filling the shop. Local treasure-hunters, you should put this place on your maps.

Items for resale may be dropped off on-site (check the website for guidelines). Pick-up of larger items—by bio-diesel truck, no less—may be arranged by calling the main office. Items that do not sell are donated locally or repurposed/recycled. Eco-Thrift works with Fort Collins Bike Co-op, Resource, and Loveland’s Waste-Not Recycling (and several others) to keep as much out of the landfill as possible.






















Kermit said it’s not easy being green. I don’t know about Muppet amphibians, but for humans, the hardest thing is often replacing old habits. (I wish I had a joke about recycling nuns to insert here.) But change doesn’t have to be difficult, and places such as Eco-Thrift help us make it one step—and one purchase—at a time.

2 comments:

Kerrie said...

I love thrift stores. I think your right, it is that treasure hunting idea. Plus I think by going to thrift stores it reminds us just how "stuff" oriented our country is.

Jenny said...

Kerrie, thrift stores do make me wonder why we have so much stuff, and what happens to it all in the end.