The ReStore Silent Auction and the Reusable Bag Alliance

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Since 2012, the ReStore has been a member of LifeCity‘s business network, giving special discounts to holders of LifeCity Green Card and connecting with like-minded local businesses who work toward positive social and environmental impact. The ReStore’s role in preserving usable materials and facilitating businesses around town (with LifeCity’s help) to improve their impact won the store the LifeCity Sustainability Achievement Award in 2015.

On Thursday, January 21, the ReStore hosted the LifeCity Member Connection Cocktail Event. NOAHH partner family and Musicians’ Village homeowner Margie Perez performed with Billy Franklin, and the ReStore’s neighbors at Old New Orleans Rum helped provide refreshments. At event, two new programs were launched: the ReStore Silent Auction and the Louisiana Reusable Bag Alliance.

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The Silent Auction was inspired by a similar program at the Asheville Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and the recent large donation of antiques, art, and decor from Neal Auction House. Some of their donations are now serving as the inaugural ReStore auction pieces, with more to come.

“From time to time, we get items that don’t fit our usual ‘furniture and building material’ mold,” said ReStore Director Wesley Griffin. “And for some antique or vintage items, coming up with a price is often guess work. All of these items, with origins ranging from Colonial America to Victorian England to modern China, will intrigue our customers, and many are undeniably valuable.”

The auction provides an opportunity to let the community decide the value of the items. Each auction will last about two weeks, and the first auction, currently running, will end Wednesday, February 10, at 2 p.m. Bidders need only place their bid on a sheet and need not be present to win. The next auction will begin the following week on Tuesday, February 16.

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“If having an auction means our customers need to stop by every day to make sure their bid is in the lead, well, I don’t suppose that hurts, either, he said with a wink,” said Griffin, with a wink, adding more seriously, “It also serves as a reminder that almost anything related to your home–renovation, furniture, decor–can be valuable to the Habitat mission.”

The Louisiana Reusable Bag Alliance (LARBA) is an initiative of No Waste NOLA, who were present at the Cocktail Event to launch the alliance and gain signatures for their petition to create a disposable bag fee to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags. The ReStore gave reusable bags to shoppers at the event. While the cost of reusable bags can be prohibitive for businesses to use them exclusively, LARBA’s initiative is focused on benefiting local businesses’ bottom lines by making reusable bags available and incentivizing their use with customers, thereby minimizing reliance on plastic bags.

All photos by LifeCity.