Now that spring is here, I'll be spending more afternoons at Boulder’s ReSource yard, checking out the stacks of lumber, doors, bricks and fencing, basins and radiators. I could go home with anything: an old metal farm door to cover the wood fence behind my grill, a funky hanging lamp for my bedroom (I had to talk the manager out of that one because it really did look great hanging in the yard’s entry gate). With a little help from the broken mirror shards I picked up by the “free” swap pile, I found all the tile I needed to mosaic my townhouse’s back patio for $10 at ReSource.
When I’m in the market for any home-improvement or repair part, I start at ReSource before I hit Home Depot. I’ve picked up unglamorous hoses and screens for half of what I would pay retail. So even if a $10 window frame for an art project captures my heart while I’m there, I’m still saving money—and keeping garbage out of the landfill. Last year ReSource diverted 2,500 tons of material—a small fraction of the 136 million tons of construction and demolition waste that the United States generates annually. But a start.