Reuse! Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet is a new documentary creating quite a buzz across the country. The Minnesota screening, hosted by ReUse Minnesota and held at Southdale AMC, attracted the largest audience to date! Relan was pleased to be part of this screening and we love being a part of the ReUse community.

ReUse MN banner at ReUse! Because You Can't Recycle the Planet documentaryReUse MN banner at ReUse! Because You Can't Recycle the Planet documentary

The film follows Alex Eaves across 48 U.S. states, where he interviews people of all walks of life who have created incredible reuse solutions for our growing waste problem. From mobile gardens to reuse centers for home improvement supplies, Eaves shows us that solutions are not only possible, but are alive and well in the contiguous U.S. states. 

The reuse movement falls right in line with the share economy that is booming in the U.S. and beyond. Companies across industries are thriving by supporting the idea of repurposing, reusing, and sharing that which you already have, and they are proving that it is a lucrative approach to business.

A few of our favorite companies in the share economy include: 

Lyft: A ride sharing app that is booming across the states, identified by the large, pink moustache
DogVacay: A company that connects dog owners to over 20,000 dog sitters in the U.S. and Canada
Poshmark: An app that allows women to sell clothes from their closets and shop others' closets
Airbnb: A site that allows you to rent from local hosts across the world
Uber: An app that allows you to connect with any type of driver, from ride sharing to luxury vehicles, in countries all over the world

Someday, we’ll look back on the 20th century and wonder why we owned so much stuff.
— Bryan Walsh, TIME Magazine

At Relan, we practice reuse, repurposing, and sharing every day by collecting old banners, billboards, and other material to create new products for clients. Believe it or not, large corporations individually print over 2 million square feet of billboards every year - that’s nearly 35 football fields of billboards for each corporation - and to date, there is no way to recycle the material created. We have worked hard with our partners to keep over 300,000 square feet of this material out of landfills, but we still have a long way to go.

One thing we loved about the film was that it showed everyday reuse solutions that we can all start practicing today without making drastic lifestyle changes (though those are okay, too!).

Here are 5 very simple ways you can reuse: 

  1. Bring your own tote to carry groceries in when shopping 
  2. Reuse old food jars for storage 
  3. Sell your old clothes on a site like ThredUp, Poshmark, or Neighborgoods 
  4. Buy holiday gifts from companies like UpMod or Kuttlefish, or - shameless plug - yours truly
  5. Use old newspapers or paper bags as gift wrap 

Take a look at the full list of featured organizations from the documentary and start supporting the reuse organizations in your state by visiting  

The holy grail of recycling is cradle- to-cradle, as opposed to cradle-to-grave.
— Paul Glynn, Designtex

Image: Flickr/epSos .de
Quotes: 1) TIME Magazine 2) SGIA