If you are lucky enough to live near the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, or a bit further north in Bellingham, Washington, then you are privileged to have a REStore near you. A home remodel and demolition reclaiming store, they save all of the wonderful things in older homes from landfills. If you are looking for home decor upcycling or reuse ideas or just need that one matching Victorian style crystal door knob or an authentic iron claw-foot bathtub, look no further. They also collect architectural features like mantling, ceiling tiles, fences and handrail posts.
The demolition of a modest 2,000 square foot house generates up to 127 tons of trash. The RE Store can reuse up to 50% of that material and recycle another 48%, leaving a mere 2% to end up in a landfill or incinerator.
I recently stumbled upon all kinds of wonderful items from a condo renovation project of an old high school. They had old basket style cubby bins, lockers and marble topped science tables. A veritable treasure trove of vintage items to be upcycled and refurbished into some amazing green home decor pieces.
Since 1993, the REStore has been collecting unique household items from schools, offices and homes from around the area that would have otherwise ended up in the landfills. Founded by the non-profit organization RE Sources for Sustainable Communities to address the growing problem of wasteful disposal of useable building materials, their solution is good for everybody. Not only do they work with contractors and commercial enterprises on condo remodels and demolition, but they work with individual homeowners. I have donated several items from my 1930’s Seattle house, and I have also found many fixtures and fittings which have been rescued from homes like mine. They strive for very attainable goals such as:
- Diverting usable materials from land fills
- Offering affordable used building materials to everyone
- Saving money for homeowners and contractors on their disposal and labor costs
- Empowering and inspiring community members to build skills in home remodeling and business improvements
- Giving our customers the good feeling that comes with wise stewardship of building resources
If you are in the area, you should check out their retail locations, you will be pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the staff, the uniqueness of the items and great feeling supporting something so eco chic. Keep in mind there are business like this all over the country, so don’t be afraid to do a google search or crack open the yellow pages for your area. Post your favorite store in the comments section so others can take advantage of your eco knowledge!