Using strengths and resources to fuel our work
The people involved in this effort know how to restore value to discarded items. They rely on their own hands to realize new use for old things.
And we need a steady stream of money that's not tied to the winds of change in the philanthropy sector to reliably get our projects done (and done well.)
So we're banding together with local and regional artisans willing to let us sell something they designed or made by hand. We're marketing their items right alongside our own items that we design and make by hand.
Peddling reclaimed creations at market is a great way for us to introduce our idea that ecologically sustainable efforts also have what it takes to be financially sustainable.
Our goal is to open our online store in November 2018, and sell our inventory at a Kansas City area farmers market in Summer 2019.
Turns out, reclaimed materials can make money.
There's lots of fallen timber in our 4-acre forest, which got us thinking about uses for waste wood. The 30 million tons of recoverable wood waste dumped in U.S. landfills every year (a fifth of all waste) has a $0/ton value in the landfill. That value could be raised to over $15,000/ton if the wood is reused as mulch, construction material, home goods or furniture.
Covering about 28% of our urban land area, nearly 250 Million trees live in Kansas City, and 0.37% of them are lost to various causes every year. That implies that roughly 925,000 trees fall and need removing each year. Cutting some of those tress into boards enables creation of unique furniture pieces after the wood is seasoned. For more immediate creation, pallet wood, often acquirable at no cost, provides another creation option for home interiors.
Thanks to a donation from a generous supporter in Summer 2018, we now have a complete wood shop. We have identified a funding opportunity that could provide us with a sawmill suited to milling urban wood wrought with bullets and wires—unexpected factors that ruin larger blades. With that $20,000 acquisition of suitable equipment, this business will be formidable.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Items you'll see for sale right here in 2019
Artisan jersey t-shirts spreading messages of thrifty wisdom and respect for nature
Hand-knitted and crocheted hats, scarves, mittens and sweaters
CLEMENT WATERS GEAR
Wood-constructed items with the Clement Waters logo and inspirational sayings
Bumper stickers and window decals that help you proclaim "Buy local!" and other modern world wisdom
A variety of home decor and furniture pieces made by hand from reclaimed wood
Custom creations available upon request and consultation