The ReStore

Living in Burlington, Vermont I have shopped for furniture, building materials, and futons at Recycle North, a non-profit that provides a chance for goods that might end up in a landfill to be reused. A large warehouse holds televisions, refrigerators, tables, desks, china, glassware, records, toys, and other items donated by people who do not need them anymore; providing an opportunity for others to purchase them at little cost.

Partnered with Recycle North is the ReStore in Barre, VT. The ReStore provides the same services as their counterpart in Burlington, and also has a unique section filled with an industrial surplus of arts and crafts supplies. The store is run by three full time employees and a number of volunteers. Manager Rachel Rice explained that The ReStore is part of a network called the Onion River Exchange which allows volunteers to work for ‘community credit’ which they can spend at participating organizations.

Rachel said that about half the people who shop at the ReStore come knowing what they want, and the other half just hope to find something they can use. According to Rachel the business is “kicking ass” and she reports that sales are higher than expected.

Shopping at the ReStore is a very easy way to get what you need in a cost efficient way. One such customer was Aislinn Mayday who recently graduated from Duke and needed some chairs. She and her boyfriend came to the ReStore and picked up some chairs and planned to reupholster them with some fabric she already had.

Aislinn, her boyfriend, and their new chairs

If there is not a store like the ReStore around you, craigslist.org is a great alternative, as well as yard sales and basic networking through friends and family.

You can see what new supplies are in at the ReStore blog: http://therestore.wordpress.com/

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