ReThinking the Holidays

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The holiday season is upon us!  And after rethinking how we do almost everything this past year, many of us now find ourselves rethinking how to do the holidays.  Whether you are staying at home for the first time ever and wondering how to celebrate without gathering, or whether your values no longer align with the traditional consumption and spending-centric holiday model- the ReStore has a few re-thought ideas on how to do the holidays this year… maybe with a little more reuse and home time, and a little less spending and gathering.

ReUse: Spotlight on Fabric

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Did you know textiles make up almost 7% of our landfills? And about 95% of the textiles in our landfills are either reusable or recyclable. This means that even those pieces of clothing that are so worn out that Goodwill doesn’t want them, still have a significant post-consumer future ahead– if you’ll give it to them!

Asheville Habitat Accepts Environmental Excellence Award

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By Andy Barnett, Executive Director

“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”

― Henry David Thoreau, Familiar Letters (1860)

Asheville Habitat doesn’t think of itself as an environmental organization, so it came as a little bit of a shock to receive a 2019 Environmental Excellence Award from Asheville Greenworks this spring.  Our understanding of a safe, healthy affordable home is so intertwined with the notion of a “tolerable planet” that it goes unnoticed and unremarked.

Like most of the social justice solutions our community seeks, affordable housing and environmental stewardship are not competing interests. They are “yes, and” solutions. For example, your furniture donation to the ReStore diverts waste from the landfill AND builds affordable homes. When Habitat builds a new home, achieving high energy performance standards reduces our community’s energy use AND saves the homeowner money. Replacing an obsolete heating system in a home reduces the energy demand from our aging housing stock AND it means that an elder in our community can age in place safely and with dignity.

I am grateful for this award as a reminder of the impact of our choices, and a reminder that the best solutions solve multiple problems. As one of many like-minded businesses and organizations advancing environmental stewardship and sustainability in our community, I’m honored that GreenWorks bestowed Asheville Habitat with an award this year.

 

Photo by Angela Wilhelm, Citizen Times