Back to Basics

By Kristin Williams

I recently spent some time putting together a press release introducing The ReUse People to the Central Valley and Sierra regions of California.  In thinking how best to organize and present the information, I decided to convey only the vitally important information, and in the fewest possible words, to ensure that the busy reader would actually be inclined to read the release. In addition, I would include a couple of charts showing actual donation values and a side-by-side cost comparison of deconstruction vs. demolition. Fun to look at, no laborious reading.

So, in keeping with that stripped out, scaled down version of deconstruction, let’s go back -- way back to basics, before any of us really smart adults started using words like “green” and “sustainability.”

I’m sure most of you remember Mom telling you to finish all the food on your plate. After all, the food you were about to waste would happily feed “several starving children in China.” Perhaps you were admonished to take only what you could eat, or it would be waiting for you at your next meal.

Lesson# 1: Don’t throw away perfectly useful material. Your trash is someone else’s treasure. Someone, somewhere has a need and a use for it. How about the day after Halloween when you’ve stuffed yourself with candy and for some reason aren’t too concerned about where the wrappers land. Mom follows up behind with, “Who do you think is going to pick those up? They don’t just magically pick up themselves.”

Lesson# 2: No one likes a litterbug. Forty percent of our landfill space is currently occupied by construction and demolition debris. C&D is the single largest source of waste! When does that become our responsibility? It doesn’t just disappear into a black hole once the dumpster is hauled away.

Unfortunately, there is one thing that we adults are subject to that the kids don’t necessarily have to worry about -- the ever present dollar sign $$$. Take a look at the following charts. Being responsible can be the smart-money thing to do as well. And while you’re thinking about money, stop by one of The ReUse People warehouses -- there’s nothing more satisfying than getting something AWESOME really cheap!

Kristin Williams is TRP Area Manager for California’s Central Valley.


 

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