reduce, reuse, reINTERN: Notes from Steppingstone Scholar Sarena

reduce, reuse, reINTERN: Notes from Steppingstone Scholar Sarena

I began my internship at the creative reuse center The Resource Exchange four weeks ago. The Resource Exchange is not just a place where products are salvaged from landfills but also a place where I have come to realize just how much people waste potentially perfectly good items. The amount of items in The Resource Exchange warehouse could make up their very own landfill; however in my time spent here I have contributed to preventing such an outcome.

ben&serena&mnight2Photo Jul 17, 2 38 50 PM

From day to day my work changes based on the recent donations that are sent to the store. Although one thing that remains constant is my daily project.

Sarena's Project 3

For this project I have decided to to use a salvaged frame which I made over with some reclaimed paint along with some holly and white roses, courtesy of the weird room. I would then use the frame to showcase two of my artistic talents: traditional drawing and photography. After the paint dried I spent each day drawing , coloring, and attaching the pictures to the frame.

Sarena's Project 2 Sarena's project 1

Thus, every day after an hour of working on my personal project I would work on various other jobs. There was once an entire day that we spent sorting yarn doing so was able to increase the amount of yarn that could be sold instead of throwing it away. We were able to salvage so much yarn that we are now able to have the convenient dollar per pound sale on specially marked bundles.

Photo Aug 06, 12 39 47 PM

We’ve even spent time moving lumber and cleaning doors that were donated amongst other things. Although cleaning the doors took some time we get the satisfaction of knowing that we’ve saved two more items and that customers will have clean merchandise to choose from. Photo Jul 24, 2 46 00 PMPhoto Jul 24, 2 46 00 PM

And we were even able to work on the social media aspects of The Resource Exchange, taking inventory of new donations and finding new ways to display items in the store. Throughout my time here I’ve truly learned how important such centers can be, not only for the community, but the environment as well.

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