What if recycling anything was as easy as stopping by your local mall? That’s the case in this Swedish city, where they’re keeping perfectly good items out of the landfills by making the first ever mall where everything is upcycled. They make us wonder: does doing good for the planet need to be so complicated?
Here’s one of the simplest, most streamlined ways we’ve seen people and companies keeping great items out of the trash, all while supporting local businesses.
The Mall Where Everything is Recycled
What if there was a one stop shop for dropping off your old clothes, furniture, and electronics, and picking up something new? That’s what’s happening at Sweden’s ReTuna. Since August of 2015, locals have been able to drop off their unwanted items at the ReTuna Återvinningscentral recycling center, where they are sorted, and the companies that made them—like IKEA—as well as tinkerers and shop owners can turn them back into treasures. 1
Most of us know malls as places where we go to find something brand new, freshly manufactured, and right out of the box. But at ReTuna, you can pick up perfectly usable items that have been restored to their original luster. They’ve made it easy to not only figure out where to put our unwanted items, but to pick up something new without adding to the waste stream even more.
Here’s a great look at how this whole system works with this video from Business Insider.
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More than a place to shop!
Part of what makes ReTuna so successful—what with their $1.3million USD in sales of recycled products in 2018 3—is the way they engage the local community. They organize sustainability focused events, lectures, and workshops, host education programs with local schools, and open their space up to tours and meetings. ReTuna isn’t just a part of the community, they are trying to actively support it.
How can we make doing good easier?
I don’t know about you, but if something’s too complicated, I most likely won’t do it. But when I see the work like the people at ReTuna are doing, I’m inspired to make most of my practices way easier.
ReTuna has created a one-stop shop for everything recycled and second-hand, making it not only easier to recycle your unwanted goods—whatever they are—but to purchase something new to you.
What else can we make easier in our lives to have a bigger difference? Let’s start in our own homes. What about composting? Would we be more apt to do it if the bin was positioned differently? How about if it could turn to soil in less than 24 hours right on our countertop, like with this innovation from Pela?
What if you had a reusable water bottle in your car and extra ones in the kitchen so you’ll never be without? There are collapsible ones like these that can save room in your bags and car to make it super easy. Having a party and need cups for folks? Instead of using plastic ones, how about keeping your empty food jars handy for a risk-free, low-impact drinking vessel!
There are so many ways that we can make our lives easier while also doing good. And the more that larger corporations and local governments get on board with creating programs to make being sustainable easier, the bigger impact we will have.
Want to see how others are making sustainability easier?
Dive into these articles next for some simple tips and tricks that’ll take little effort to integrate into your life!
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As always, my friend, stay open to new possibilities!
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- “Read about Us in English – Retuna.” Retuna.se, 2021, www.retuna.se/english/about-us/. ↩
- Business Insider. “Inside the Mall Where Everything Is Recycled | World Wide Waste.” YouTube, 21 Apr. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LctHCGe91gk. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021. ↩
- https://www.facebook.com/smartcitysweden. “ReTuna: The World’s First Recycling Mall | Best Practice – Smart City Sweden.” Smart City Sweden, 17 Apr. 2020, smartcitysweden.com/best-practice/398/retuna-the-worlds-first-recycling-mall/. ↩