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There’s a new approach to that great American pastime–consumption–that may inspire thrift and creativity. As part of the Rethink speaker’s series, we heard from  Adeela Abbasi with the Restore, Ruthie Mundell with Community Forklift, and Jason Holstine with Kensignton’s Amicus Green Building Center.

Restore and Forklift resell used and usable building materials from doorknobs to floor joists. And they accept donations, from a contractor who ordered the wrong item or a homeowner sick of storing the half box of tiles from a years-ago bathroom renovation.

Amicus does all the homework to help you make the best green building decisions for your lifestyle and budget. Jason pointed out that often the inexpensive and least sexy option is the best–think insulating before geo-thermal.

We were all inspired by the passion that these three bring to their work, not only the primary benefit of sustainability, but the secondary benefits of building and serving all members of our community.

The next free Saturday I have, I’m going to follow tips on the Amicus Spring Greening List, including cleaning the fridge coils and getting a new HVAC filter. Then I’m heading up to the Restore to deliver a half box of little blue glass bathroom tiles (circa 2001) and another half box of ceramic kitchen backsplash tiles (circa 1989). Who knows what I’ll come home with!

By the way, this week’s speaker’s panel on culture features Tebabu Assefa who works in the Ethiopian community, Rassa Davoodpour who is a leader in the Persian community, Megan Moriarty with IMPACT Silver Spring, and Reemberto Rodriguez with the Silver Spring Regional Center.

2 Responses to “Rethinking Shopping”

  1. Valerie Berton

    I’m making a point, despite some scheduling challenges at home, to attend tomorrow night’s ReThink Montgomery presentation. With four panelists representing different cultures, it will be a great opportunity to learn about how some of the communities coalescing around similar traditions like to communicate and receive information. As our agency continues to try to reach out to diverse constituencies, the panel will offer insight about what people of different cultures value. Better still would be if the panelists can help spread the word that planners really want to know what people of different cultures would like to see in their communities. Our planners creating visions for such communities as Takoma/Langley, Long Branch, Chevy Chase Lake – and a pending plan focusing on the East County – need a constructive dialogue with residents, business owners, landowners and workers in each of those areas. It doesn’t work if only planners come to the table. Or only planners with the same group of people we always see.