Images from the Who Gives a Crap Instagram account.
A client recently told me about Who Gives a Crap — a company that makes sustainable toilet paper and paper towels, delivered to your door, and does it (as you might suspect) with a large dose of humor. Like the company itself, its origin story is both purpose-driven and funny, involving a crowd-funding campaign and one of the founders on a toilet for 50 hours. You can read more here.
Who Gives a Crap was founded by three guys who wanted to help the 40% of the world's population that doesn’t have access to a toilet, and the many children who die from poor sanitation as a result. They donate an amazing 50% of their profits to making sure everyone has access to a clean toilet. What’s more, all of their paper products are made from either bamboo or 100% recycled paper, making them super-green!
I started ordering toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap a few months ago and now get paper towels, too. Did I mention that there’s no plastic at all in their packaging, and that each roll is wrapped in cute paper? Their Instagram is full of people finding clever ways to reuse the wrappers. In December, the rolls are wrapped in adorable wrapping paper — quite excited for that!
If you're ready to ditch traditional paper products (and their associated deforestation) and never have to lug TP back from the store again, give Who Gives a Crap a try and let me know how it goes!
I have long been a fan of Marine Layer. With super-soft clothes in great styles, it fits my life perfectly. When I recently learned of Marine Layer's t-shirt recycling program, Re-Spun, I was hooked! Drop-off (or send in) old t-shirts of any variety and in any condition and they will send you a $5 Marine Layer credit for each shirt (up to $25, but no limit on donations.)
They sort the tees by color, break them down to the fiber level, add recycled plastic bottles to the fibers to create their recycled yarn, and create a brand new(ish) shirt using sustainable methods. No water, dye or new materials are used! Pretty amazing!
So far they have collected 100,000 tees and plan to keep going. On the Re-Spun FAQ page to the question "How long will you be collecting T-shirts?" Their answer is:
"Forever. (Or at least until we go out of business.) But seriously. We want Re-Spun to be a core part of what we do — and t-shirts are just the beginning. We're working hard to expand the program to other kinds of products. Stay tuned."
If you want to find out more or get a prepaid mailer, visit the Re-Spun site. If you want to drop off your tees in store, check out all of their locations. I had no idea there were so many!
Marine Layer (SF Locations):
2106 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
498 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
If you enjoyed reading about interesting ways to repurpose items, take a look at my recent post about La Casa de las Madres.
The SF-Marin Food Bank operates under the mission to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. One out of every four of our neighbors is at risk of hunger. Your donation greatly supports the immediate distribution of food throughout San Francisco and Marin as well as longer-term strategies that address hunger and empower our neighbors in need. Their website states:
"Our mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Since 1987, the Food Bank has pioneered many successful models aimed at ending hunger. With your support, we continue to innovate and expand to provide more food to neighbors in need."
There are many ways to help the SF-Marin Food Bank! You could host a food drive, help with sorting and distribution or donate food directly at one of their many green barrels around the city. My favorite is the one at Rainbow Grocery!
Items they especially need:
The SF-Marin Food Bank
Do you know my favorite go-to site for giving away items that can't go to my usual donation organizations? Nextdoor!
Nextdoor a free social network designed to connect neighbors. They have a "For Sale and Free" section that I love. Simply post the item you want to give away, snap a photo, do a write-up and select how widely you want your post to be seen. It's so easy with the app! Interested neighbors will message you arrange to pick it up. Alternately, can put it in a sheltered outdoor spot by your home so they can pick it up at their convenience.
Their website states:
"Building connections in the real world is a universal human need. That truth, and the reality that neighborhoods are one of the most important and useful communities in our lives, have been a guiding principle for Nextdoor since it was founded in 2011."
I love the feeling of posting something - whether it's a box of legos, a ton of paper plates, or a bunny cage - and having a delighted neighbor show up, clearly happy they scored the item for free!
Recycle Where? is a great tool for helping Bay Area residents determine how to donate, recycle, or responsibly dispose of unwanted items. Simply type the name of the item you are looking to donate into the search bar and up pops a list of organizations that can accept the item. Easy! The website is a collaboration between the city of San Francisco, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the city of Palo Alto.
Their website states:
"The goal of Recycle Where? is to reduce waste by providing accurate information about recycling, reuse, and proper disposal options for residents and businesses without regard to traditional municipal boundaries."
The next time you are stumped with a donation or disposal item, give Recycle Where? a try!
The Children's Book Project is a wonderful San Francisco non-profit that is dedicated to providing free books to Bay Area children. Their website states:
"The Children’s Book Project was founded to help build literacy by providing new and gently used books for free to children who need them. Since 1992, we have given away over 2.7 million books for children in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
Research shows that children to whom books are read have an easier time learning to read than those who don’t have this experience. In addition, evidence shows that reading aloud to children actually helps their brain development. However, many children in the Bay Area and beyond live in homes without books and attend schools and programs where books are in short supply. Encouraging reading is not enough when families do not have books."
The Children's Book Project is always in need of new or gently used, books for children of all ages, from infants through teens. Books can be donated on-site or at one of the many blue "Book Bags" at retailers around the city. Here is a list of all retailers with Book Bag donation sites.
They especially need:
The Children's Book Project
1360 43rd Avenue, room 105
Donation Spotlight for November!
Goodwill sells goods to break the cycle of poverty for thousands of local people through free training and work placement programs. Goodwill has donation sites all over the bay area.
Their website states:
"Each year, nonprofit Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin breaks the cycle of poverty for thousands of local people through our transformative free training and work placement programs. Goodwill serves anyone who comes through our doors with a willingness to work."
Things they accept are:
My current favorite Goodwill donation location:
1690 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Mon-Sat 9am-8pm • Sun 10am-7pm
Donate at one of their 25 dropoff locations.
Donation Spotlight for October!
Community Thrift Store is a wonderful San Francisco non-profit thrift store. They serve dozens of charity organizations such as Meals on Wheels, The Boys and Girls Club, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, and La Casa De Las Madres. Their website states:
"Community Thrift is an independent and non-discriminatory establishment -- when you donate with us you can pick your favorite charity! We accept donations on behalf of our charity partners, sell the items in our store, and then disburse the proceeds."
Items they accept for resale are:
Community Thrift Store
623 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA
Donation Spotlight for September!
Animal Care and Control is the city-run animal shelter in San Francisco. It's also where my husband and I adopted our beloved Chow Rocco many years ago! Their website states:
"San Francisco Animal Care & Control keeps our community safe and protects all animals from abuse, neglect, and cruelty. SFACC is the City’s only open admission shelter; we accept all animals regardless of temperament, medical condition, or species. We rehabilitate and reunite animals with their owners, rehome the orphans, and assist wildlife."
The shelter has many donation needs! Items may be dropped off at SFACC during normal operating hours. Things they are in need of are:
SAN FRANCISCO ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL
1200 15th Street
San Francisco, CA
If you enjoyed this post check out Where can I Donate this? SCRAP!
Photograph by Erik Auerbach
Donation Spotlight for May!
I have long been a fan of First Exposures, a youth-mentoring program centered around photography. Their website states:
"First Exposures is a San Francisco-based, nationally recognized youth mentoring program that strives to make a major long-term difference in the lives of high-need, underserved San Francisco Bay Area youth by providing a venue for them to enhance their self-confidence, develop their creativity, and gain a passion for learning."
If you have a camera, film or photo paper that you no longer need, consider donating them to this great organization! Email First Exposures at email@example.com with your donations or questions. Below is a list of items they could use.
RayKo Photo Center
428 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Erin Becker is the owner of PICK IT UP, a
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