The TRP 2012 National Reuse Contest

2011 Reuse Contest WinnerAt The ReUse People, our mission is to keep used building materials out of landfills. However, we realize that salvaging materials is only half of the job. The other half is making sure that something useful happens to those materials. That’s why TRP takes the materials to warehouses and retail outlets where people can purchase them, often at greatly discounted prices. While some customers reuse the materials as they were originally intended, for example, replacing an existing bathroom vanity with a salvaged vanity, or installing used cabinetry where none previously existed, other customers get creative and completely repurpose the salvaged goods. It's been fascinating for us to see the amazing projects customers have undertaken using salvaged materials—and a great source of pride for all involved. Not only do customers get to enjoy the results of their creativity and hard work, they play an active role in protecting the environment by not always purchasing new, raw materials. Plus, supporting the green building industry generates numerous indirect rewards, including coveted job opportunities for unemployed and underemployed people.

2010 Reuse Contest WinnerTo celebrate the creativity in building material reuse, repurposing, and environmentally friendly ingenuity, for the past several years TRP has been sponsoring an annual Reuse Contest. Each year, people are invited to submit photos and write-ups describing their reuse projects. From among the entries TRP picks three contest winners (and sometimes an honorable mention). Winners receive gift certificates redeemable at their local TRP warehouse and get featured on the TRP website and in our e-letter. The best part of The Reuse Contest is that each year the response grows, as more people participate. That’s why this year we decided to go national and have opened the contest to reuse stores around the country. Each of those stores (a list can be found on our website) is holding their own reuse contest for local customers and then submitting the winners to TRP, which will pick the national winners. If you are a regular TRP customer, of course, nothing has changed. Submit your entry to your local TRP (or partnering) warehouse. If you win at the store level, your entry will automatically advance to the national contest.

Remember, this year’s contest is not restricted to TRP customers! We are celebrating reuse, so everyone is invited to participate. The rules are simple: Your project must have been completed in the last 12 months. Your entry must be received before the contest deadline. And each entry must include four photos (we love “before” photos too, if you have them!), and a 250-word description of the project and materials. We realize that this last requirement might inspire flashbacks to middle-school writing assignments, but we like to hear what your inspiration was, what materials you repurposed, and how you completed your project!

TRP is extending the deadline for project submission to September 30, 2012. That means you have until that date to submit your entry to your local reuse store in order to qualify for the national contest. Stores must then submit their local winners to TRP by October 31, 2012. The national winners will be announced by TRP shortly thereafter.

So show off your creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness! Inspire others! Most importantly, help TRP further its mission of reducing the planet’s alarming solid waste stream through greater reuse. For entry information and a list of participating stores, visit the Reuse Contest webpage.

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