Archive for August, 2010

Uncle’s passing made easier

Helped a woman on Friday whose uncle passed.  She emailed me this morning, “Thank-you Tom for helping me and family through a difficult process. We hope the items help others the way my Great Uncle did.”

We took everything to the Salvation Army at 12th and Main, and were able to donate about 75%.

Sometimes people have trouble knowing when to call. A lot of everything is difficult when a loved one passes on. It was our pleasure to help this woman out.


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2nd Hand Store

The second hand store seems to be going well, but I now have greater appreciation for the employees of the Salvation Army, or any of the other charities we deal with, when they explain how hard it is to sell an item. It’s incredibly time-consuming, and because there are SO many people donating, and so few buyers it makes for a glut of second hand furniture in the marketplace.

Think about it… How many people want to recycle their old stove, VERSUS how many people buy a 2nd hand stove when they remodel their kitchen. Basically, this stuff moves in 1 direction, and 1 direction only.

Still, we’re seeing a modicum of success and month one hasn’t been entirely discouraging. Go to and search the phone number 778-773-2297 to see what we have. There’s a couple of vintage typewriters, some nice wooden coffee and end tables, a floral couch, and various odds and ends.

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“Environmentally Friendly”

What on EARTH does “Environmentally Friendly” mean? To me, it means that the “environmentally friendly” thing, has improved the quality of the environment in some way. Planting a tree is about as close as it comes as far as I’m concerned, but even then you needed irrigation, a truck to get the tree to the new site, etc.

What it does NOT mean to me is that it has harmed the environment fractionally less than the other way of doing things.

Anecdotally, I think it gets used the 2nd way a lot more often.

What do you think?

Next week… “Carbon Neutral”. And maybe, the week after that, “Zero Waste”.

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15 recycled projects

Ron Delfs forwarded this article to me and asked me to share it. I didn’t click all the links, but I clicked most of them and some of the ideas were pretty clever.


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2nd hand furniture for sale

Fresh Start is trying a little experiment. We’ve been taking loads and loads and LOADS of furniture to charities. Sometimes they accept it and sometimes they turn away things that are PERFECTLY good because they don’t have room. As we’re a business, and we need to be thinking about costs, we can’t go charity to charity to charity all day in an effort to avoid landfill at all costs. We wouldn’t have time for new clients because the first one of the day would take up the whole entire day as we looked for the SINGLE charity out there that happened to have space. Our plan has always been to take your unwanted items to charity, let them have first dibs, and then take the remainders for recycling or disposal and help out the next customer.

Well, lately, I’m not sure what’s going on out there but it’s getting harder and harder to get high quality, 2nd hand furniture donated. To that end, we’ve rented a storage locker in North Vancouver where we plan on taking some of the choicer items that we’re having trouble donating.

To see what we have on offer at anytime go to: and in the “search” bar, put in “keyword: fsr” or just “fsr” but you’ll get extra stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with us.

What does everyone think of this? I think it’s got a real chance to keep more furniture out of the landfill, so I’m hopeful to see it work.

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Old washing machines…

My cousin had this suggestion for the old washing machines we pick-up. The idea has some merit!

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