Going Green: Recycle and Repurpose at Life’s Treasures
At Life's Treasures Thrift Stores, recycling and repurposing are the foundation for a going green philosophy on multiple levels.
When you think of the color green, what images come to mind? Do you think of the rolling hills and lush landscape of Ireland? Maybe you picture Kermit the Frog singing “It’s Not Easy Being Green?” Or in this day and age, do you imagine large recycling bins filled to the brim with bottles, cans and plastic containers? And yet, there’s a rare and different picture that can come to mind: It’s going green with a unique spin by recycling and repurposing items from a thrift store.
Going Green at Life’s Treasures
You can’t escape the fact that going green seems to be a mantra across the globe these days. In every community, people band together in an effort to make the planet better and enhance the quality of life by leaving smaller carbon footprints. Recycling materials rather than sending them to landfills is a philosophy embraced by Chapters Health System and its five Life’s Treasures Thrift Stores. The stores are not only great places to shop for gently used clothing, accessories, furniture and housewares, but they also help recycle, repurpose and reuse merchandise.
Twice a year, Life’s Treasures Thrift Stores partner with Ramm Recycling and Urban E Recycling to hold recycling drives. During these events, people can bring outdated or broken computers, keyboards, monitors, internal components, servers, cell phones, printers, fax machines, home audio equipment, DVD players and VCRs. Televisions are the only items that aren’t accepted. Besides taking these listed items off of your hands, the recycling events also offer free data destruction.
Repurpose to Up-cycle and Pay it Forward
There’s a saying; “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This sentiment is brought into the spotlight almost daily at Life’s Treasures Thrift Stores. Items donated to the stores are a constant and rich resource for crafty people and hobbyists searching for treasures at the Brandon, Carrollwood, New Port Richey, South Tampa and Zephryhills locations. From clothing and accessories to housewares and furniture, old items are lovingly given a new life and sometimes a new purpose.
“Crafters look for fabric goods, such as linens and clothing, to make quilts, scarves and other accessories. Donated furniture is a much-sought-after item that hobbyists regularly seek out,” said Alice Walsh, Director of Life’s Treasures Thrift Stores. “They’ll strip down a dresser, repaint or stencil it and update it with new hardware. So instead of being hauled off to the local junkyard, the item goes into a bedroom or dorm room.”
In addition, Life’s Treasures Thrift Stores hold regular crafts workshops conducted by staff and volunteers. Attendees can learn how to repurpose items like old china, glasses and wine bottle corks to give them new life.
“Our thrift stores provide a place for the community to donate items in support of our mission to provide care to people affected by advanced illness so they can make the most of life,” added Anne Ferrell, Development Coordinator for Chapters Health. “Being able to do all of this by going green is an additional—and gratifying—contribution that Life’s Treasures Thrift Stores make to our communities.”
10 Ways to Go Green without Breaking the Bank
There are many ways you can support the effort of going green that won’t negatively impact your wallet. Here are some of our favorites:
- Rethink plastic bag disposal: Take your plastic bags back to the grocery store, or better still, use reusable cloth grocery bags for shopping.
- Consolidate errands: When you have lots of errands to run, group them together by location: less gas equals fewer emissions. If able, walk or bike to accomplish tasks close to home or work.
- Power down: At the end of the day, turn off your monitor and computer. This practice saves energy.
- Split a gallon: If you drink milk, buy a gallon and split the milk in half—half a gallon goes in the refrigerator and freeze the remaining half. By splitting a gallon, you decrease the amount of plastic used for two half-gallon containers.
- Go electronic: For bills, switch to electronic invoices and bill paying, which decreases paper usage and postage costs. And if you’re set to travel, think about e-tickets and opt for electronic boarding passes. Going electronic helps save trees and decreases the possibility of misplacing travel documents.
- Drink up again: Instead of drinking water from plastic bottles, increase your daily water consumption with a reusable water bottle.
- Check out from the library: If you still like the feel of reading from an actual book, check out a best seller from the library instead of purchasing new. Or feel free to browse and download some e-titles from the library.
- Wash full loads in cold water. Refrain from washing small loads of laundry, and in hot water. Clothes still get clean in cold water, and you save energy and water when you can do a full load.
- Unplug your cell phone when charged to capacity. You don’t need to keep your cell phone charging once it’s at 100 percent. By keeping it plugged in, you are wasting electricity.
- Flip your printing. If you’ve printed something on computer paper and no longer need it, just simply flip it over and print something else on the other side.
Chapters Health System is committed to serving the needs of its patients, families, caregivers, health providers, partners and communities.
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