|Submission Date||March 2, 2017|
|3.00 / 3.00||
IU Office of Sustainability
The Biddle Hotel located within the Indiana Memorial Union (IU's "student center"/student union) partners with three non-profits (two local, one international though based in Florida) to reuse items that would otherwise be considered waste.
This year (2016-2017) the Biddle Hotel is undergoing extensive renovations. All of the old furniture and mattresses of the Biddle Hotel are being donated to the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.
From a recent press release:
"Bloomington’s ReStore was thrilled to receive the donation, which is its largest to date, according to regional Habitat marketing director Allison Hess.
Donated furnishings include bed frames, headboards, lighting, desks, credenzas, desk chairs, armoires, soft seating and microfridges. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, another local nonprofit organization, accepted the hotel’s mattresses. (It’s the only organization in town that accepts donated mattresses, which are given to people in need at no cost.)
The donation is so large that the moving process has been broken down into five sessions, each about two weeks apart. This also will keep the removal from disrupting the construction project, Campbell said.
Habitat has lined up volunteers to help with each move, including a donation of time from Bloomington-based Soft Touch Moving Co.
The proceeds Habitat receives from selling the donated furniture will go toward building new houses for local families in need of shelter. There are plans to have an IMU volunteer Habitat build in the spring. "
The volunteer shifts for the transport from the Biddle Hotel to the ReStore and St. Vincents were advertised prominently by the IU Office of Sustainability. Volunteers included IU faculty, staff, and students.
Additionally, the Biddle Hotel has a multi-year commitment to donating partially used soap to an international non-profit, Clean The World.
From a press release:
"To date, they have shipped close to 6,500 pounds of soap to Clean the World.
“It does fit within our green IMU mission and being a socially responsible partner,” Associate Director Mike Campbell said.
Along with participating, Campbell said he has been helping other Big Ten universities like the University of Iowa to get involved by putting them in contact with people at Clean the World.
If possible, Campbell said he would like to see university organizations get involved as well.
While 6,500 pounds seems like a lot, but Campbell said the IMU is just a small part of a much bigger picture.
“Any responsible business has to think through ways in which they contribute to the whole society and in ways that make sustainable sense,” he said. “This is certainly one of those.”
The soap the IMU is sending to Clean the World can no longer be used by the IMU, but this recycling process means that none of it will end up in a landfill, he said. Instead, it will be helping people around the world to live happier and healthier lives.
Campbell said the IMU is always looking for organizations like this to which they can contribute.
“At some point it just kind of becomes what you do,” Campbell said. “It’s jut part of our routine.” "
Clean The World's Mission:
Clean the World has a two-part mission:
Collect and recycle soap and hygiene products discarded every day by the hospitality industry and other sectors that generate environmental waste.
Through the distribution of these and other donated products to impoverished people, prevent millions of hygiene-related deaths each year, reduce the morbidity rate for hygiene-related illnesses, and encourage vigorous childhood development.
Hilltop Garden & Nature Center was first established by IU Biology Professor, Barbara Shalucha in 1948. In her 1987 book, The Garden Named Hilltop, Shalucha wrote, “…a remarkable group of citizens listened and heard what a Garden could be and gave support for its realization: H.H. Binford, then Superintendent of the Monroe County Schools; Jerry T. Femal, the first Director of the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation; Ralph E. Cleland, Chairman of the Botany Department; Garrett Eppley, Chairman of the Department of Parks and Recreation; Chancellor Herman B Wells, then the President of Indiana University; and the women of the Bloomington Garden Club, particularly supportive was Arline Ferguson, Minnete Deiss, and Rhonda Zeller.”
Hilltop’s youth gardening programs started in 1948 with only fourteen children enrolled, but quickly grew in popularity. By 1957, 170 children were participating in Hilltop’s summer gardening programs. By the time Hilltop celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998, thousands of Bloomington’s children has learned about gardening through Hilltop’s youth gardening programs.
Today, educational opportunities for children continue, as well as opportunities for students through internships and work study programs. Hilltop offers work-study internship positions with local high school students, as well as IU students. Free seed kits are available to all teachers in and around Monroe County to provide a hands-on teaching activity on plants, biology, and nutrition, and more. The kits are made possible by funding support from the Bloomington Garden Club, donations of plastic trays from Cook Incorporated, and numerous Hilltop volunteers.
Hilltop also provides gardening classes for adults and volunteer opportunities. Visitors are always welcome at Hilltop to tour demonstration gardens, enjoy nature, or find a good idea for their own gardens. With limited staffing, Hilltop relies heavily on support from the IU and Bloomington community. There are ample opportunities for anyone to get involved with Hilltop facilities and programs.
In addition to the Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, IU partners with the City of Bloomington on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Commission, IU and Bloomington bus systems, service learning programs, and many other formal and informal partnerships.
Hoosier to Hoosier (H2H) is a reuse program that aims 1) to divert reusable items from the landfill during student move-out, 2) to prevent additional resource consumption by selling collected items to students and community members in order 3) to raise funds for local charities and other organizations.
Hoosier to Hoosier is a partnership between the City of Bloomington, Indiana University, and Cutters Soccer Club. In addition, Monroe County Habitat for Humanity has been a valuable partner in past sales.
Cutters Soccer Club partners with area youth organizations, the MCCSC School Age Care Program, churches, and church/charter schools to provide Outreach Soccer—a free program for children who might not otherwise have the opportunity or financial resources to participate in a high quality soccer program. Cutters also serves special-needs children and adults through TOPSoccer-a program designed to ensure they have the same athletic activities as their able-bodied counterparts. All proceeds Cutter’s volunteers earn from the Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale will support the Outreach and TOPSoccer programs.
In addition to the three main partners, funds raised through the Hoosier to Hoosier sale go to a number of local other organizations. The volunteer compensation program allows local organizations to apply to receive a portion of proceeds based on the number of volunteer hours their organization provides to sale efforts. At the August 2015 sale, H2H took in over $46,000 and sent 3 semi-trailers worth of donations on to Goodwill, for processing and sale. Over the summer, H2H logged 646 volunteer shifts for 1,815 hours. On sale day, 3,070 shoppers came through the doors, including 700 before 9:30am. The steering committee estimates that 60 tons of reusable items were intercepted from the landfill, bringing the H2H total to an estimated 232 tons since the beginning of this effort in 2010.
While many universities have move-out waste collection and donation programs, this partnership is one of the only ones that sorts and stores items during the summer, for resale in the fall, attempting to close the loop and prevent unnecessary waste before it is purchased. Items are resold at prices far below even Goodwill and other resale shop prices. While the sale advertises the $23 dorm room (two extra-long sheets, one pillow and pillowcase, one blanket, one comforter, one decorative pillow, featherbed, mattress pad, desk lap, throw rug, a storage tote, and wall art, all for a combined total of $23), community members come for the furniture and can find incredibly affordable sofas, coffee tables, lamps, and appliances like microwaves and coffee makers.
Continuing to grow, Hoosier to Hoosier is now part of the City of Bloomington’s “Resale Trail” – a series of reuse and resale events throughout the community, such as “Junk in the Trunk”, an event at which anyone can reserve a parking spot in a local lot and sell items from that station – a sort of pop-up bazaar of reuse and source of small additional income for sellers. It is the hope, and belief, of organizers that the event reduces waste, encourages thinking about waste and consumption in new ways, encourages a reuse economy, and provides funding for community groups and non-profits.
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