Spring Cleaning and Responsible Reuse
As winter ends many of us get down to the ritual of spring cleaning. It feels great to fling
open those closets, cupboards, and garage doors, take stock of what is no longer useful
and clear it away. You can feel even better when you thoughtfully allocate your castoffs
to organizations who can use them directly, because your unwanted goods will have
longer lives in responsible hands.
We are lucky to have robust charitable communities and a vibrant social services sector
in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. The organizations that operate in service
to our state’s communities give us limitless ways to responsibly divest of unwanted
items, making it possible for each of us to be active collaborators in the reuse
Here are 10 stellar nonprofit organizations doing good work that have created ‘Wish
Lists’ to take the guesswork out of what they need and what they can put to immediate
Bridging (http://www.bridging.org )
Bridging was founded on the idea that together we can create a bridge between those
in need and those with excess. Since 1987, and nearly 50,000 square feet later, Bridging
is the largest furniture bank in North America and has served over 80,000 households.
Bridging continues to accept quality, gently used items, and by doing so, diverts 200,000
pounds of inventory from the landfill each week.
Bundles of Love (http://www.bundlesoflove.org )
Bundles of Love is a volunteer driven organization that partners with community service
agencies to assist Minnesota families in need by providing handmade baby clothing,
bedding, and basic care items for newborns. In 2016, the organization served an
estimated 5,657 families.
Wish List: http://www.bundlesoflove.org/help
Citizens Supporting Our Armed Forces (https://www.csoaf.com )
Citizens Supporting Our Armed Forces mission is two-fold: 1) Increase community
support and awareness of our troops and their on-going military deployments, and 2)
Direct troop support through the shipment of care packages to those deployed. The
goal is to send needed items to our troops as often as possible and to as many as
Wish List: https://www.csoaf.com/donations.html
Crisis Nursery (http://www.crisisnursery.org )
Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery remains the only residential crisis nursery in
Minnesota, and one of only 20 in the country. Crisis Nursery started, 32 years ago with a
goal to establish a crisis helpline 24-hours a day, seven days a week; and to shelter six
children per day. Today, the organization answers over 4,000 crisis calls and shelters
over 2,200 children a year.
Keys 4/4 Kids (http://www.keys44kids.org )
Keys 4/4 Kids accepts donations of used and unwanted pianos and its professional piano
technicians rejuvenate them for resale. Proceeds from these sales programs that
provide opportunities for artistic expression in our youth, encourage community
partnerships, and make the arts available to all people, regardless of income, age, or
previous arts experience.
Wish Lists: Donate Pianos: http://www.keys44kids.org/donate-a-piano/
Piano Parts Upcycled: http://www.keys44kids.org/shop/?category=Upcycled
Leonardo’s Basement (https://leonardosbasement.org )
Leonardo’s Basement is a one-of- a-kind creative learning environment for “kids” of all
ages to design and build from their imagination. Kids choose and direct their own
projects, create, and build solutions to problems and go on field trips. Over 11,000
students have been served by the organization since 1998.
Minnesota Homeless Coalition (http://www.mnhomelesscoalition.org )
Since 1984 the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless has worked to ensure that
everyone has a place to call home through advocacy, technical assistance, and building
public awareness. Together with partners, the Coalition has advocated for state funds to
build over 9,000 units of affordable housing.
Wish List: http://www.mnhomelesscoalition.org/give-now/
Open Arms of Minnesota (http://www.openarmsmn.org )
Open Arms of Minnesota cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people living with
life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. With the help of over 5,400 volunteers, the
organization will cook and deliver more than 600,000 delicious meals this year to people
living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as well as
to their caregivers and dependents.
Operation Glass Slipper (http://operationglassslipper.org )
Operation Glass Slipper was founded in 2006 and is dedicated to providing prom gowns
and accessories - at no charge - to high school girls throughout Minnesota and western
Wisconsin. The organization serves young women who would otherwise be unable to
attend prom due to difficult financial or family circumstances. Each year over 1,000 girls
are outfitted for prom.
Wish List: http://operationglassslipper.org/?page_id=21
People Incorporated (http://www.peopleincorporated.org )
People Incorporated serves people with mental illness in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul
metro area. Founded in 1969, they operate more than 60 programs including children’s
programs, crisis residences, programming to help the homeless, residential programs,
treatment services, case management, and in-home health services. In 2015, the
organization served more than 10,000 people.
Wish List:http://www.peopleincorporated.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2015-Program-Wish- List1.pdf
About this month’s blogger:
Beth DeZiel is newly elected to the Board of ReUSE Minnesota and owner of Lasso LLC.
(http://lassollc.com/ ) Seven years ago, she launched a professional organizing business
to help individuals downsize and simplify while being kind to the planet. In a profession
heavily populated with people who counsel their clients to throw things away (or to buy
more plastic bins) in the name of organization, Beth has made it her mission to help her
clients responsibly redistribute their unwanted belongings – going to great lengths to
identify and connect with organizations that will be able to keep these castaways in use.
To that end, she’s set herself apart from the mainstream in a way that resonates with
her increasingly eco-conscious clientele.
Join ReUSE Minnesota in Supporting Fair Repair
Minnesota has a chance to become the first state in the nation to pass "Fair Repair" legislation. The Fair Repair bill, SF 15 in the Senate and HF 287 in the House, guarantees our right to repair digital equipment like computers, refrigerators, cell phones and tractors. It requires manufacturers to provide owners and independent repair shops with access to repair information and replacement parts—so you have the resources you need to fix things quickly and affordably.
Fair Repair will help you save money and create good jobs in our state.
Repair jobs are well-paying jobs all over Minnesota, and the proposed bill could help bring even more jobs to regions of Minnesota that need them.
· 2011 MPCA analysis shows that average weekly wage for electronics and machinery repair ranges from $902 – $1,093. For comparison, DEED data shows average weekly wage for construction is $1,139, manufacturing is $1,164, and mining is $820. The Fair Repair bill could bring back the neighborhood TV repair man!
Fair Repair will keep our air, water and land clean and reduce disposal costs.
Fair Repair will help slow the flow of toxic, hard-to-recycle, e-waste that is a huge problem in Minnesota. Managing e-waste is a big expense for our cities and counties -- which means it's a big expense for us. Keeping our electronics in use longer is the most powerful, effective method for reducing the financial and environmental costs of e-waste.
But we need your help. Manufacturers don't want a Fair Repair bill. When your tractor breaks or your cell phone stops working, they want to be the only people who can fix it. And they get to set whatever prices they want.
Tell your legislators that you want the right to repair your electronics. Tell them you support the Fair Repair bills, SF 15 and HF 287 and you want them to work to pass it. Fair Repair is good for the environment, good for consumers, and good for Minnesota’s economy.
· Tell your legislators you want Fair Repair. This site makes it easy to call or write them: https://minnesota.repair.org/
PS. ReUSE Minnesota contacted Senator Dahms about the bill. See the letter here. And, here’s a template that can help you in your phone and letter writing outreach efforts. Share these resources with your networks and help Minnesota pass this groundbreaking legislation.
REUSE! Because You Can't Recycle The Planet.
This film isn't about our waste problem. It's about solutions. And they are everywhere!
Support ReUSE Minnesota by purchasing a copy of the movie. A portion of the proceeds of you movie purchase go to support ReUSE Minnesota when you use the following link:
We live in a challenging time. Climate change and mass consumption is threatening our planet's existence. Excessive extraction of natural resources has created immeasurable waste and pollution. This issue is complicated and imminent. While recognition and awareness is important, direct action is by far the most effective. But traditional recycling is not enough. The reuse mission offers a more sustainable solution that everyone can be a part of. REUSE! Because You Can't Recycle The Planet follows Reuse Pro Alex Eaves' cross-country adventure to the 48 contiguous U.S. states. On his journey, he finds endless reuse solutions for our waste problem that are not only sustainable, but many of which are easy and fun! And he learns just how reuse truly benefits "people, planet, and wallet."Support ReUSE Minnesota by purchasing a copy of the movie. A portion of the proceeds of you movie purchase go to support ReUSE Minnesota!