Thursday, June 25, 2009

Habitat for Humanity's Cool New Venture

It began with an innocuous invitation from a church member involved with Habitat for Humanity. "Have you seen our new ReStore operation out in Goleta?" he asked. I said "no", and we made an appointment to go out to a warehouse near the airport and see this new thing

It's actually not new. Habitat for Humanity now operates almost 500 of these retail stores that recycle building material at deeply discounted prices. It works like this: You are remodeling a room and putting in a bathroom. The doors and windows in the old room are good, but need to come out. You call ReStore and offer them the old doors, windows and cabinets. They come out with a truck, and pick up the gently used items (no old junk) and they take them to the warehouse. At the warehouse they are priced using the internet to find the approximate value....then they discount it for quick sale.

I'm adding a bathroom and need a sink and toilet. So I drive out to the ReStore (not just contractors) and I look at their inventory and find the sink and toilet I want. I buy them very reasonably. But I'm not sure how to do the plumbing. The ReStore also offers regular classes in how to set a door or window, install cabinets and simple plumbing on Saturdays.
The manager told me the number of tons (that I've forgotten now) that they divert from landfills with perfectly good material. What profits these stores make go right into operating Habitat for Humanity projects locally or regionally. What a great idea!


At 8:02 PM , Blogger Rick said...

I am one of those doors.

At 5:46 PM , Blogger Jeff and Lisa Olson said...

Being home owners in RI, we frequent the local Re-Store almost weekly! It's great!


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