5 R’s of Sustainability, Day 5: Reuse

All week long, we have been sharing information about the “5 R’s of Sustainability”, how to be more eco-friendly, and Stardust’s role in the community, with today being the finale! If you have been following along with us for all 5 days, thank you – this is the first time we’ve put together an educational campaign on social media like this, and we hope you’ve enjoyed everything we’ve shared.

So far this week, we’ve shared info on “Refuse”, “Reduce”, “Rot”, “Recycle”; the last R in the series, which we will talk about today, is “REUSE”, and this R is very special to us at Stardust because it is the main idea that our whole business is based around!

About Reuse

In this context, “Reuse” is the practice of using an item multiple times, whether for its original purpose (“conventional reuse”) or for a different function “creative reuse”). Reuse can span many different categories, from clothes and home goods, to electronics and tools, to materials and supplies. Some examples of this include:

  • Shopping at second-hand clothing stores when you need/want a new outfit
  • Finding ways to repurpose items around your house instead of throwing them out (for example, metal filing cabinets make great outdoor planters!)
  • Repairing furniture, tools, clothes, etc, instead of buying new
  • Buying a used car

Stardust’s History With “Reuse”

So, how does Stardust fit into all of this? We at Stardust recognize the importance of reuse, both conventional and creative, because it is the main concept and mission of our business. For any who may not know our history: In 1997, local philanthropist (and co-founder of Stardust) Jerry Bisgrove was about to undertake a complete home remodeling project, where the first step of the remodeling process was to remove everything from the home, demolition and gutting the structure in preparation for a rebuild. The weekend before that was to begin, Jerry and his wife told a friend to take whatever she wanted from the house. When Jerry and his wife returned to inspect the property, they were surprised to discover the most of the usable material from the house was gone, including cabinets, plumbing fixtures, lighting, electrical supplies, and flooring. They asked their friend what she did with everything; she said she used some of the materials to remodel her own home, sold items to friends and relatives, and gave some materials to those in need. It is from these humble beginnings that Stardust was born.

While there are many different types of reuse stores, Stardust specializes in building supplies, furniture, and appliances. We operate on a donation model, where the majority of our inventory is brought in as donations from an individual or corporation, and then are re-sold in our Reuse Centers to local folks for up to 80% off big box store prices. Profits from these sales support our store operations and Gifts in Kind program, which helps other local non-profits. By doing this, we are able to provide high-quality building supplies for reuse so they don’t end up in the trash.

If you’ve heard us talk about #StarveTheLandfill, you know it’s our main goal and mission. This is referring to the amount of growing construction and demolition debris that is added to our landfills every year – and according to a report from the EPA, that number reached over 600 million tons in 2018.

By encouraging and supporting sustainable efforts locally, Stardust has been able to make a true difference in our community: we serve over 54,000 people every year (that’s 4,000 people per month!), and have diverted over 80million pounds of reusable building supplies since we were founded in 1997.

A very special thank you to everyone who has worked with, volunteered, partnered with, or shopped with us! It is thanks to you and your support that we are able to continue to offer reclaimed building materials, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and a unique selection. And of course, thank you for helping us #StarveTheLandfill!

Want to learn more? Check out these resources: