Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores
are a win-win for the
environment and for you. The "H for H" idea is to strengthen communities by helping low income families own their own homes and by helping others in need with critical repairs on their homes. Since 1976 they have helped more than 4 million people
construct, rehabilitate, or preserve more than 800,000 homes. The organization's ReStores
are a big part of this mission: a place where contractors,
home centers, and individuals donate left over building materials, doors,
windows, hardware, appliances and home furnishings. You can
find these home improvement materials at a significant discount, saving money while helping
Habitat with its mission. The more than 900 ReStores throughout the U.S. and
Canada are locally run and
and stock much of the material used in the construction
of the average home.
I recently visited the Oakland, California ReStore and found a
wide range of new and used materials on sale at very good prices. There were doors, windows, paint,
flooring, nails, screws, hinges, locks, plumbing,
electrical, appliances such as the range shown above, furniture and much, much more. Some of
the other interesting items I found included: two Velux 2’ X 4’ skylights, a range of entry locks from Stone Harbor
Hardware, new sinks from Water Concepts in a variety of
sizes, and this well-crafted 7’ X 3’ 4” kitchen island. A careful shopper can take advantage of many
cost savings while keeping these materials out of the landfill. With proceeds from the three ReStores in the San Francisco Bay Area,
Habitat has been able to build 38 new homes and
help many individuals with critical repairs to their homes.
One of Habitat’s most environmentally beneficial programs is
their Paint Recycling Program. Leftover paint is sent to Habitat's regional plants where contaminants are removed, the paint is
reformulated and mixed into a range of interior and exterior colors as well as primer. It is then sent to local ReStores for resale
in 1 gallon
and 5 gallon containers. The paint, branded “Recolor,” is made from 99.5% recycled paint and is
suitable for painting your entire house. This program keeps highly toxic
paint out of landfills and is a low cost way to meet your paint needs.
You can also donate
materials left over from your own building project. Whether you are buying or donating, you are
back to families in need as well as helping the environment.
All photos courtesy Habitat for Humanity ReStores.