Environmentalism as common sense

Sami Grover at TreeHugger has a new blog up about the common sense and practicality behind environmentalism. While the “green” movement is often packaged with messages about morality, sentimentality and spirituality (sometimes derisively), there’s nothing particularly esoteric or religious about identifying the most efficient ways to use and preserve limited resources.

In his link-filled post, Grover says

From understanding the basic forces behind climate change (or even just how weather actually works) to grasping what the laws of thermodynamics mean for the efficiency of a meat- versus plant-based diet, most of what we need to know about building a greener, more resilient culture can be expressed in terms of physics.

Sure, there’s a role for spiritual experience and emotional intelligence too. But even though anti-greens love to call environmentalism a religion, it is more a study in practical, real-world common sense than anything else.

This ties in well with our November story on Goodwill Omaha’s green efforts. Goodwill’s practice of reselling used clothing and other items is already environmentally friendly in how it keeps items out of landfills and in circulation. But the agency goes beyond that, incorporating green practices throughout its operations.

And something that is often overlooked in environmental friendliness is the fact that going green can save money.

The aforementioned energy efficiency will save Goodwill on utility bills. The polished concrete floors in the stores require significantly less maintenance – costing 25 to 50 cents a year per square foot versus $8 for tile. And polished concrete requires only water for cleaning – no toxic chemicals.

“I’m not an environmentally conscious guy – I’m not,” Parks said. “But seeing how it benefits the bottom line and benefits the community as a whole – I’m in! It’s the best thing for Goodwill, economically and environmentally.”

Deal with the Christmas clutter in an environmentally friendly way

Christmas generates smiles, cheer, joy and lots of trash!

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s “This Green Life” journal has put together a list of tips on how to dispose of your holiday excess in an environmentally friendly way. Obviously Goodwill will gladly accept your gently used clothing and toys, but what about things like wrapping paper and light strings? The NRDC has the rundown and links you need to dispose of everything responsibly.

They mention taking your unwanted used electronics to a Dell Reconnect location — don’t forget that all of our 14 donation locations accept computers and other electronics at no charge. What can’t be rebuilt and resold is recycled through our Dell partnership.

And if all this waste has you feeling uneasy, it’s never too early to start planning for a low-waste holiday next year!

Holiday sweaters bring cheer to all

Call them festive or call them ugly; Goodwill has holiday sweaters. We visited KMTV’s Morning Blend this week to show off the variety of seasonal attire that can be found at any of our Omaha and Council Bluffs area stores. Anyone from tiny babies to office professionals can find the right amount of holiday spirit at Goodwill.

Watch the video at omahamorningblend.com.

But sweaters aren’t all fun and games. As you can see, being festive doesn’t mean we stop working. Happy holidays from all of us at Goodwill Omaha!

Goodwill of Delaware reconditions used medical equipment

Goodwill of Delaware has added a new level of service to their mission. Not only are they providing employment opportunities and keeping used items out of landfills, but their new medical equipment reconditioning program makes it easier and more affordable for low-income people to meet their healthcare needs.

From DelawareOnline.com:

The nonprofit has launched a new business of refurbishing and selling durable medical equipment such as canes, crutches, hospital beds, wheelchairs and scooters for adults and children.

It takes gently used — and tax-deductible — public donations at its stores and worked out an agreement with Delaware Medicaid and Medical Assistance to receive equipment that was purchased with Medicaid funds but no longer is being used.

The idea came from the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies. The center got a federal grant to examine the feasibility of the equipment reconditioning, reuse and recycling concept, Goodwill spokesman Ted Sikorski said, adding, “they were looking for someone that could provide the retail aspect.”

The agency was well-suited for the task, using its network of donation centers to collect the used medical equipment and its employment and training and retail infrastructure to prepare the items for resale. And with healthcare costs rising around the country, the program helps put medical equipment in the hands of those who need it at a fraction of the costs of new materials.

Check out the rest of the story at DelawareOnline.com.

You can also read more about the Assistive Technology department at The University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies at the university website, or learn more about the the Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative at the separate DATI site. And check out Goodwill of Delaware & Delaware County’s Refurbished Medical Equipment page on their agency website, where you can find more details about how the program operates and what equipment they offer.

The Twelve Days of Goodwill Omaha Christmas! (video)

If you made it to this month’s Town Hall meeting last week, you’ve already had a chance to experience Goodwill Omaha’s take on The Twelve Days of Christmas. But if you couldn’t make it, or if you just want to keep reliving it (with musical accompaniment), you’re in luck! The words are there, so sing along!

Written by the Goodwill Omaha marketing department. Directed and produced by Erin Burke. Starring the people of Goodwill Omaha.