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Take overflowing landfills, factor in a growing green consciousness, reformed pack rats, spring cleaning, and unused items, add an Internet connection to post offers of items to people in your community and what do you get? A new ReUseIt Network group for Berks County, fewer items in the landfills, and a healthier planet.
Thomas Crouse of Reading, takes the environmental slogan “Think Globally, Act Locally” seriously. He has started a new ReUseIt Internet-based recycling (e-cycling) group for Berks County called Reading Pa ReUseIt. As prices go up on just about everything, people are looking for ways to save money, so on-line e-cycling is becoming a hot new way to do just that. Most people join to help stretch the family budget, but the benefits of e-cycling usable items go far beyond a personal level. Grass-roots e-cycling keeps items from going to a landfill, a large benefit in itself and also reduces the amount of raw materials needed to manufacture new goods, a significant secondary effect.
Berks County residents are encouraged to join in by going to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ReadingPaReUseIt and signing up.
The ReUseIt Network is meeting a need for grass-roots recycling options. Started in the summer of 2007 with a handful of groups, it has steadily grown to around 500 local affiliates in the US, Canada, and nine other countries. Membership in the groups ranges from dozens to thousands of people depending on the community. One of the organization’s founders, Judy, said “We predicted that we would have a couple hundred groups by our first anniversary, but the network really took off and growth has far exceeded our expectations!” When asked what accounts for the rapid growth of the ReUseIt Network, she added that “people are beginning to realize that each and every one of us can have an impact in our local community and on the earth by passing on usable items to others, which in turn reduces the deposits in area landfills. This is a trend that is growing all over the world!”
The ReUseIt Network strives to be more than another e-cycling group directory. The organization’s mission is “... to reduce the human footprint on the Earth by promoting conservation of resources and providing an opportunity for individuals and communities to take action.” In addition to e-cycling, the group makes conservation, education, accountability, and responsibility points of focus as well. These values inspire and encourage dedicated grass-roots volunteers to devote time to their groups. They challenge and motivate their local members to find more and more ways to reuse items rather than throw them away, while making the process as easy as possible.
Along with conservation and environmental friendliness, there’s a lot of fun being had as well. In Florida, Robin B gave away the old drawer pulls from her kitchen update to Laura M who was remodeling her kitchen, which kept them out of the landfill. Janet R from Michigan saved three large trash bags of kids’ clothing from the same fate by giving them to Trudy C whose children had outgrown their clothes, too. Judy B of Florida asked for reams of copy paper for her grandson’s kindergarten class and soon delivered 40 reams to the teacher. Karen A from Colorado asked for and received a slightly used bicycle rack. The list of people sharing their usable goods and keeping things out of the landfills goes on and on.
The best thing about belonging to a ReUseIt group? Membership is free and everything listed must be 100% free, legal, and family-friendly. And the feeling of helping others while conserving resources and building community? Priceless! To find a local group visit www.reuseitnetwork.org then click on a country, state and local group location. If there isn’t a group in the area, a new one can easily be established by following the directions on the website. ReUseIt today for a better world tomorrow.