salvaged wheels used as decoration
The Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, N.Y., was built in part with materials from Barack Obama's re-inauguration stage. Photo: ILBI
The Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, N.Y., was built in part with materials from Barack Obama’s re-inauguration stage. Photo: ILBI

Challenges for PlanetReuse

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing PlanetReuse since the beginning has been educating the public not only about their presence, but also about the value of incorporating reclaimed materials into new building projects.

“We know that the ‘reuse’ part of the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ equation is the least commonly practiced of the three,” he says. “Reuse today is where recycling was 25 years ago in terms of implementation and awareness. We hope to make reuse a viable alternative to buying new for customers that are interested in making an economic and environmental impact.”

To that end, Benjamin and his team are frequently featured as speakers at conferences such as GreenBuild, ReuseConex, Living Future and Sustainable Brands. Through their national newsletter, they share information about new products being made available for projects, and also use social media, such as Facebook and Pinterest, to show creative examples of how people are using reclaimed items.

Their own portfolio is crammed with examples that show reused and reclaimed items can be sophisticated and beautiful while at the same time bringing a sense of history to each project. Of those projects, Benjamin says his favorite is the Barack Obama inauguration stage, which PlanetReuse helped repurpose into The Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, N.Y., and also used in a project in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans.

Next page: PlanetReuse Providing Guidance