ANEW: Surplus Repurposing Serves Communities
|Contributed by Tami Carey
UNITING CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY WITH ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Inside a showroom, a family purchases a sofa for their third home. Outside, a woman walks to her third job so her family can have one home to live in. An office is getting a makeover. Old desks that do not go with the new decor are thrown out of the 5th floor window, splintering into pieces as they hit the pavement. In that same community, schools and organizations don't have desks at all.
In 2005, Rose Tourje walked by a scene just like that one. Recognizing the devastating waste that was not only hurting our planet, but doing a disservice to the community that could desperately use the discarded pieces, she founded ANEW. ANEW is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to social sustainability -- that breathes new life into old and extra furniture, fixtures and equipment by donating them to the under-served and the groups that support them. By raising awareness and providing informed assistance on alternate forms of disposal and reuse and developing environmentally sustainable practices, Anew is changing the way the design, architectural and real estate industries think about and respond to their surplus. If an item cannot be re-purposed or reused, it is recycled. Each object is approached as though a landfill is not an option.
Their warehouse and recycling duties are supported, in part, by organizations that work to train the disadvantaged and previously homeless to equip them with the confidence and skills needed to find a job and develop a career. Organizations helping breathe new life into people, as it were.
Their website, www.anewfound.org, is not only a great way to hear more about their inspirational mission, it's an incredibly informative resource for anyone who wants to assist or needs their assistance. Their hand is lended both to the recipients and the donors, making it possible (and easy) for them to handle their surplus in a social, economic, and environmentally friendly way.
Their slogan is "Doing what's right with what's left." Sounds like steps in the right direction to me.
Get Started: Become a donor company or recipient organization today!