Join me Friday the 12th for a FREE and fun event. This 8th Annual Sustainability & Repair Fair brings a great group of folks together at the Garden Home Library in SW Portland. Lots of earth friendly products and information. You can even get your toaster fixed while you visit with vendors. Note: You can bring up to 2 items for repairs but they ask for a heads up. Click here for the Repair Fair registry. This event is so popular they now have to hold it in the adjacent gymnasium to accommodate everyone. And that’s a good thing! 5 to 7:30 pm. Corner of Oleson & Garden Home Rd. See you then!
It’s always a treat to discover a business that is authentic and clear in it’s purpose. Newly opened Briar Patch Herbs in SW Portland is such a place and I’m delighted to announce it as the latest A Clear Place Winner for entrepreneurial spirit. From the extensive inventory of organic herbs to its repurposed wood shelves and tree decor, the shop exudes healing Earth energy. You’ll find highly regarded Floracopeia products along with a commitment to showcasing quality local vendors. Owner Sheri Copans is passionate about herbs and happily offers suggestions for both newbies and seasoned shoppers. Clearly the stars have aligned to bring this refreshing herbal oasis to the neighborhood. Congrats Briar Patch and here’s to a rewarding and enriching experience for all! Check out my review of Briar Patch Herbs on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/8DteXJUwpdG2
The waste industry has made major strides in coming up with ways to recycle our refuse. Everything that is except those ginormous blocks of Styrofoam. You know the ones – hermetically sealing everything from flat screen TV’s to furniture and glassware. Even if you break them down into tiny pieces, the choice for disposal is still an ugly one: landfill. UPS takes peanuts but not blocks. The only recycling center in Portland that took Styrofoam stopped accepting it in March. Now what? Enter Agilyx – an energy alternative company located in Tigard, OR. Implementing new technology in renewable energy and chemical recycling with a focus on environmental impact; the company broke ground this year on a facility that will convert polystyrene foam (foam cups, packaging materials) into styrene monomer. Reducing to the monomer form allows for global reuse in tons of ways. Fuel, helmets, housing … sky’s the limit. Best part for Portlanders? Consumers can drop off their Styrofoam for free. YAY! I spoke with the folks at Agilyx to confirm the free part and they shared that there are bins available 24/7 at their facility. Make sure your foam has the “6” on it and that it is clean and dry. If you are a business or have more than a truck load, contact Agilyx at 503-217-3160 to schedule a drop off time. Click here for map and more info. Not in the PDX area? Visit Home for Foam to find recycling near you. Until manufacturers are mandated to use earth friendly packaging, let’s do our best to dispose of stuff mindfully. Here’s to creative solutions and making Earth a clearer home for everyone.
Photo courtesy of NRWS, Paradise, CA.
Learn about the queen of spices and how you can support efforts by Heifer Intl to raise its farmers out of poverty; peek inside a $20k home designed by Rural Studio; get an online tool that helps you determine the dollar value of your stuff; listen to my top picks for music guaranteed to put a wiggle in your clearing out tasks … and more. View Clear Ways to A Better World – February 2016. Enjoy!
Your wish list may not include dryer balls but if you don’t already have them it should. Find out why these spikey balls are the perfect gift. Note: Not all balls are created equal. I also share my favorite seasonal laundry soap along with this year’s pick for holiday reading. Click here to access Two Dryer Balls and A Partridge in a Pear Tree!
I just couldn’t share enough about this wonderful organization, so here’s a follow up to last week’s feature. Community Warehouse Communications Director, Rena Satre Meloy, took time from her busy schedule yesterday to give me the inside view of this bustling nonprofit. The warehouse was buzzing during my entire visit – a continual stream of donations coming in and going out. And just like their Tualatin location, everything was done with efficiency and a smile. Adjacent to the warehouse, we toured the Estate Store and as at their SW branch, I was impressed with the organization and clean and attractive displays. And such diverse items! Everything from a Murano glass chandelier to a nautical folding screen to a vintage doll complete with clothes and trunk. All at bargain prices with proceeds supporting the CW programs. Rena shared that an average of 40 families a week are outfitted with everything they need to set up house. An additional 20 families are serviced weekly at the Tualatin location. It’s amazing how much work can be accomplished by so few when the hearts are dedicated. Thank you, Rena, for being such a warm ambassador for a worthy and much needed cause. You guys are the real deal.
DONATE, SHOP & SUPPORT – Be mindful of stuff and get it/bring it where it matters. CW Estate Stores are open 7 days a week. Click here for address and hours. Watch here for more updates and ideas on helping our community by helping Community Warehouse. Don’t live in the PDX area? Visit the ACP Resources page or Contact me with your location and I’ll find an organization that can use your stuff. As always, thanks for making it a brighter world!
Getting rid of stuff is just one piece of the downsizing puzzle. There are many other components including where, how, what and who gets the items you are letting go of. Community Warehouse has been on my Resources Page for years as one of the best places to donate household goods and there are lots of reasons why. Their mission of “redistributing donated furniture and household goods to neighbors in need” continues to grow in demand along with the number of working class poor. The nonprofit is one of the few places that accepts mattress donations (no kings/always in need of twins), drop off is open 7 days a week AND they offer pick up service ($30 nominal fee).
I recently toured their newer Tualatin location and was impressed by its organized and efficient operation as well as the welcoming staff. Like its parent location in NE Portland, the warehouse is divided into two sections. The largest area contains about 90% of the donations and it’s where clients are outfitted with everything from linens and a set of cookware to dining chairs and a sofa. Their Estate Store sells select items at great prices to benefit the mission. It’s open to the public 7 days a week. CW networks with over 200 agencies between Portland and Corvalis and in 2014 helped over 7,000 neighbors in need. AND kept 550+ tons of stuff out of landfills. Now that’s a WIN-WIN!
Visit Community Warehouse to learn more about scheduling a pick up, location hours and items most needed. How you let go of your stuff matters. Contact me if you need guidance. As always, thanks for being mindful of where things go … and for doing your part in making our Earth a lighter place!
TIP: Not in the PDX corridor? Use the nationwide donate/recycle guide at Earth 911 (another favorite from my Resources Page). Just put in your zip code and up pops a list of who in your area accepts what you what to donate. Easy!