Good Morning, Good Morning! We are in the final week of the Island Green Living Fundraiser that gives all of YOU the chance to win an amazing (and nearly all-inclusive) trip to St. John with seven nights at Gallows Point Resort, a rental Jeep, airfare vouchers and all of the dining, shopping and fun-in-the-sun activities you could ask for. This third annual Earth Month raffle not only gives you the opportunity to win this trip to St. John but also to support a great community organization that has a visible impact on island.
And, I’m here to tell you that every fifty dollars spent on a raffle ticket makes a difference. Not just for Island Green Living, but for all of you out there who love visiting us here. It goes towards growing and expanding sustainability programs on St. John that many people in more “first world” places in the country might consider a commonality. Programs that we are SO grateful to have available to us here on island. So buying just one ticket supports and pushes these programs forward. Oh, and I might mention the winner of the last two raffles only purchased ONE $50 ticket in order to spend a week, valued at over $10,000, on St. John. Pretty neat huh?
Over the past few weeks, we have highlighted, not just this incredible prize package, but also the valiant efforts of this non-profit organization that pushes St. John into a more sustainable future each year. We have gone over the non-profit powered recycling program and highlighted Island Green’s involvement and background with the USVI’s territory-wide sunscreen ban.
But today, we dig into my favorite program spearheaded by Island Green Living. A program that provides a space for community involvement and participation (and free hugs!). A space that offers sustainability options, not just on the local level, but one of global impact. A space that has saved so many of us residents a trip to St. Thomas or the awaiting of an Amazon order. A space that has, over time, diverted more than 850 THOUSAND POUNDS of garbage from the St. John and St. Thomas landfills into re-use in the homes of thrifty islanders. Today, we dive deep into the Island Green Living ReSource Depot.
St. John’s only thrift store, The ReSource Depot first opened it’s doors in 2012 in the containers across the street from the VITEMA building on Gifft Hill. At the time, it was a much smaller facility, operated out of a few forty-foot shipping containers in a small lot with a sparse staff and volunteers which varied and limited the hours of operation. After the 2017 hurricanes, the operation moved across the street, behind the VITEMA building.
There, Island Green Living Association’s Executive Director, Kelly McKinney, and Former Operations Director, Anthony Novelli, continued to collect used building supplies and household wares for re-sale to the community out of a similar set of shipping containers while the warehouse which currently houses the space was under construction. And, in 2020, the warehouse was completed. And the hiring of ReSource Depot Store Manager, Kathie Bodish (Kat), in August of that year really put this particular project into blast off mode.
In an effort not to divert your attention from the major impact this little thrift store that could has had on diverting landfill waste on these pristine islands, let me tell you again….850,000 pounds of waste has been re-used instead of thrown away on St. John. That’s an average of 8,000 pounds PER MONTH (since the opening in 2012) of some people’s trash that turned into other people’s treasures instead of being thrown in the dumpster.
Today, the ReSource Depot on Gifft Hill not only provides people living on island with a place to discard of their gently used housewares, clothing, building materials and furnishings. But it also (and you all know I love this part) fills a void in the community. Hugs and a good laugh are always free at the ReSource Depot. Whether you are stopping by to donate, shop or just say hello. Trust me. I’m there like once a week. 🙂
Kat and Kobe Liburd, her right-hand man and ReSource Depot full-time employee, work daily to keep the store running on regular hours, sort through donations, work with customers and create a space with upbeat energy that just feels good to “shop” in. But, by shopping here, we can feel good too! Recycling is important and all. But REUSING is at the core of sustainability. From packaging to shipping to the sheer energy used in the overhead of big box stores that we rely on for sourcing our household items, the positive impact of buying second hand is immense. Especially on an island. In the middle of the ocean.
Consider this. How many cars have been saved the barge ride to St. Thomas by a quick drop-in to the ReSource Depot? For every resident that saved the trip across the sound, more energy, fuel and environmental contaminants have been spared. Every little bit helps right?
Additionally, in keeping in line with Island Green Living’s mission to create a more sustainable island, Kat has started a plant program that promotes and supports residents growing small plants that are useful to us and have a track record of growing in the intense climate that St. John and its fauna endures. In their recent launch of the program and Earth Day plant sale, herbs grown in repurposed jars, cups, buckets and pots were available for the public to purchase. Kat and Kobe spent months digging through the donations in order to collect the potting materials for this program. And the end result is a more sustainable food culture that is accessible and available to residents.
Ok, ok…I get what you’re saying. What are growing my own herbs going to do to help the planet? Well, think about this. The plastic packaging, the shipping over 1000 miles from the states, the fact that the majority of times I buy “fresh” herbs in the grocery they are already browning and will likely need to be thrown out before they are fully utilized (did I mention the possibly more important impact on your grocery bill?). In one small, repurposed pot, all of those environmental impacts are lessened. And Kat aims to extend this knowledge, and the materials, to all of us to take this small step towards sustainability.
Oh, but the ReSource Depot is also SELF-sustainable! Who doesn’t love a non-profit program that supports itself? The money raised from the re-sale of items at St. John’s only thrift store covers the labor costs and all supply costs for the shop. Last year, a clothing retail area was added to the interior upstairs of the warehouse space. The stairs were built with funds from the sale of items within the store. How cool is that?
So, the next time you are on St. John and are on the hunt for floats, coolers, snorkel gear, vintage St. John swag or even something nice to wear out on the town, stop by the ReSource Depot to check out the selection, grab a free hug, a laugh or two and some all around feel good stuff. (They are also ALWAYS on the hunt for volunteers! If you can spare an hour of your beach time to help with some donation sorting, pop on by!). Oh, and if you have extra stuff at the end of your visit such as coolers, floats, snorkel gear, water bottles, etc., bring it here instead of leaving it in your accommodations to be thrown away! You can also drop off your recyclables here on your way out. Win, win!
Speaking of being out on the town, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to do just that as the winner of Island Green Living’s Earth Month Fundraiser! In addition to a SEVEN NIGHT stay at Gallows Point Resort, a rental Jeep courtesy of Seashell Vacations, $1000 in airfare from the Department of Tourism and activities provided by Kekoa, Sailing Asante, Lime Out, Salty Daze and Lovango Resort + Beach Club you will also enjoy some of the best dining St. John has to offer. The following dining certificates will be provided by Island Green Living’s local partners in this awesome raffle!
- $250 at La Tapa Plage– This restaurant needs no introduction. An institution in Cruz Bay since 1996, La Tapa is now located in a beautiful waterfront location in Wharfside Village, serving contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with its own personal interpretation.
- $125 at Sam & Jack’s– Swing by the third floor of the Marketplace in Cruz Bay to grab breakfast, some beach ready lunch or grab and go dinner. An incredible deli with fresh and delicious EVERYTHING! (Oh, check out their new catering website!)
- $100 at Sun Dog Cafe– Pop into the Mongoose Junction Courtyard for a leisurely lunch or swing by for dinner and live music in this quaint outdoor setting featuring casual fare and libations.
- $100 at Windmill Bar– What better way to enjoy the sunset than from this perch on the mountaintop offering some of the best views and live music offerings on island. The Windmill Bar staff serves up tasty food and a wide variety of beverages with a smile…I’d be smiling too if this was my office view 😉
- $50 at Dazey Drive-In– A brand new addition to Coral Bay serving up handcrafted Caribbean Shave Ice, smoothies, Irie Pops and superfood drinks!
Oh, but wait, there’s more…You will also get to do a little shopping at my favorite jewelry store on St. John with $100 to spend at Caravan Gallery; a lovely shop selling jewelry and treasures in Mongoose Junction.
Ok, so to break this whole prize package down for you one more time before you buy your raffle tickets….
- $1000 in airfare credits
- One week Jeep Rental
- Seven Nights in an Ocean View Villa at Gallows Point Resort
- $1590 in activity and shopping vouchers
- $825 to spend on food and drinks
- A supply of Caribbean Sol Reef Safe Sunscreen
- Oh, and you’ll get a behind the scenes tour of the Island Green Living ReSource Depot and Recycling Program!
This week-long stay for two on St. John, including transportation, is valued at $11,000 and you could be the one enjoying it for only $50! Well, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, head on over to the Island Green website to get your raffle tickets today! Ticket sales close at midnight on Sunday, April 30 and the winner will be announced on Island Green Living’s Facebook Page at 2PM on May 5.