By Kate Gaertner and Amy Hall
For the Hollywood Star News
There are very few “things” we need as humans to live a good and contented life. The stuff we buy – the tools and gadgets we use, the things we surround ourselves with, and what we put on our bodies – are sometimes needed, often desired but not necessarily used on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For those non-consumable items in our life, let’s consider a different form of ownership, use and reuse. As much as possible, the material goods that make up our consumption economy can be shared, live multiple lives and be revalorized for another day, another user, and for another purpose.
Three Material Goods Sustainability Tips
EXPLORE OUTDOOR GEAR WITHOUT SERIOUS COMMITMENT OR INVESTMENT: Try something new and get adventurous at Northeast Portland’s Mountain Shop. Enjoy the outdoors inexpensively with a two-night camping rental that accommodates up to three people for just $50. The nearly 85-year-old camping shop mainstay also extends a “try before you buy” offer to customers, allowing would-be camping lovers to apply the cost of rental gear towards a purchase only after the investment is deemed worthwhile. And given the remaining uncertainties of the pandemic, leasing ski gear is a great way to pursue winter pursuits without the burden of ownership. Mountain Shop’s Nordic lease option is an affordable way to get your hands on skis, boots and poles during the September through May peak season.
SAVE MONEY ON SPECIALIZED TOOLS YOU USE INFREQUENTLY: Stop buying expensive tools you only see yourself using once. Borrow them instead. Northeast Portland Tool Library in the Alberta district offers a membership option to all Northeast neighbors west of 82nd. “Check out” specialized tools just like you would a book from your local library for a week at a time. From metalworking to drywall and even masonry tools, the Tool Library has an impressive collection of tools to rent for the Northeast community and its residents. And for North Portland residents who may be momentarily slighted, don’t be. The North Portland Tool Library offers a similar tool rental program for you, housed in the Old Kenton Firehouse.
EMBRACE CIRCULAR CONSUMPTION HABITS: Eschew single-use purchases and take advantage of the growing durable and refillable models movement. Null Refinery, founded by Northeast Portland resident Antje, is a neighborhood refill store located on 24th and Sandy, offering refillable ingredients for those areas in our life where we consume regularly and frequently: the kitchen, laundry, bath and for our body. Null Refinery also offers delivery service to existing and prospective customers to make it just a little bit easier to reduce their (perceived) dependence on single-use plastic products.
Rose City Park Climate Communications Expert Amy Hall and Sustainability Consultant Kate Gaertner write this monthly column with ideas that neighbors can implement to live more sustainable lives and combat climate change. Hall is co-founder of THRIVE creative, and also works at TripleWin Advisory, a corporate sustainability consultancy founded by Gaertner. Gaertner is the author of the book Planting a Seed: Three Simple Steps to Sustainable Living; …….