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Task 2: Jumping for Joy (And Job Satisfaction)


August 09, 2013

Our second video for the Wall Street Journal Startup of the Year competition debuted today, and we're really happy with it. We watched it first thing this morning as group, laughing as our hilariously flailing bodies whizzed across the screen, grinning as each member of the team was interviewed (and then hit in the face with a dodgeball).
The second task challenged us to discuss a problem with the company culture, then devise an activity addressing that issue. Something we have to deal with as a startup company - one that's comprised of a bunch of passionate, sometimes stubborn people - is communication.  After throwing around a couple of ideas, we landed on trampoline dodgeball as the perfect outing.

Once there, we strapped on bounce boots and headed for the dodgeball court. We divided into teams, hurling plush balls at each other and jumping from square to square. Most of us hadn't played since middle school, so the first few rounds were pretty messy. Eventually we got the hang of it, yelling out instructions to our teammates, coordinating our jumping and throwing, systematically taking out each other's players with the tactician of battlefield strategists. 

By the time we left we were red faced and sweaty, but happy. RaeAnn reminded us that infusing play into our daily lives makes us more productive employees and healthier, more content people. Watch the video above for all of the trampoline glory (keep your eyes peeled for an amazing Jarrod flip).  Also, extra credit to RaeAnn for making it to the homepage of the Wall Street Journal.  We can't wait to see what this competition has in store for us next. Want to see us make it to the next round? VOTE here (please and thank you).

Look who got more space than Buffet AND Zuckerberg.
Posted by: Sarah Rendo

Goals, Gearing Up and Good360 with Carly Fiorina


August 05, 2013

There's a lot of things we like about Carly Fiorina. The fact that she was named one of the most powerful women in business for six years running (six!) is just one of them. Nathan recently sat down with our Startup of the Year mentor for a brief chat about vertical markets, why direction is so important and why being a billion
dollar operation isn't right for everyone.

We were appreciative of her frank advice. "Focus, when you start, is everything," she said, imploring us to concentrate on building out a full product that will create a robust reuse community online, "Don't get distracted by all the shiny little pennies."

We discussed how Good360, the nonprofit that Carly chairs, takes a triple bottom line approach to operations. Good360 funnels surplus retail materials to charities, creating a positive trickle down effect. As champions of reuse, we feel this mission is incredibly important and applaud their commitment to increasing landfill diversion while decreasing needs within communities across the country. We see the opportunity to lend value to her operations down the road, contributing to the path of success they have been walking for some time.

Watch the whole video here, then go to our page on the Wall Street Journal's Startup of the Year competition and vote for us.  We appreciate all the support we've been shown so far and are so happy to be representing an issue as important as reuse.

Posted by: Sarah Rendo

Making the Cut: Startup of the Year, Round 2


July 25, 2013

We are happy to announce that we made it to the 2nd round of the Wall Street Journal's Startup of the Year competition! Thanks to our supporters and mentors we can continue using this national platform to champion reuse on a massive scale.
Your continued support helps us keep usable materials out of landfills and in the reuse economy! This means more money for the national network of reuse centers that create jobs, build homes and better their local communities.
Help us stay in the competition and expand the reuse conversation by
  • Continuing to vote (the tallies have been reset to zero!
  • Following the competition on our Wall Street Journal startup page and through our twitter feed
  • Following our blog for entertaining insights on the activities, mentors and the entire process.
We’re lucky to be involved with such an energetic, intelligent, passionate bunch of startups. Watch the video below to see who was eliminated this week and who moves on, as we all compete to be the startup of the year. 

Start Us Up: WSJ Startup of the Year


June 17, 2013

It’s an exciting day here at PlanetReuse Marketplace. We’re thrilled to announce (drumroll please) that we have been selected to join the Wall Street Journal’s Startup of the Year project.

Hope to see you soon, Steve.
PlanetReuse Marketplace, along with 23 other promising startups, will participate in a 5-month program, completing branding and business strategy tasks, learning from mentors (Sir Richard BransonSteve Case and Beth Comstock are on the roster) and documenting our success. 

We are honored to be part of a program put on by the prestigious Wall Street Journal, and eager to get outside our comfort zones, develop our creativity and expand our thinking. Oh, and the whole thing is being taped.   

Getting camera ready
We’ll have more to announce as the competition progresses, and we hope you’ll tune in to see us represent our company, the amazing Kansas City startup community and the future of reuse. 

Are you a reuse center interested in increasing your donations and sales?  Let’s talk. Learn more here.

 Startup of the Year Video

Calling All ReUse Centers!


February 26, 2013

Help boost awareness about the reuse industry and YOUR reuse center by:

Confirming your free Store Finder listing and
participating in a quick 10 question survey.

Since 2008, PlanetReuse has been working with construction and demolition professionals to reuse commercial building materials and keep them out of the landfill. This year, PlanetReuse launched PlanetReuse Marketplace, a website that connects residential reusers with reuse centers. By showcasing reuse centers and their inventories online, PlanetReuse Marketplace is making it easier for everyone to help reduce construction and demolition waste from 40% to 30% by 2020! 

In this month’s Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) newsletter, PlanetReuse Marketplace and the BMRA are asking reuse centers…

  • What are the most important aspects of managing a successful reuse center?  
  • What websites help draw new reusers to your front door? 
  • What business tools are you using to maximize your impact?
Know other reuse centers in your area?  Please forward this message to them.

Not a reuse center, but interested in survey findings? 

Results of this survey will be published for all members in an upcoming BMRA e-news bulletin and discussed at DECON'13 in Seattle.

Thanks for spreading the word!  

Changing the Landscape of Sustainability


October 02, 2012
This past weekend was the ASLA Conference, and Nathan Benjamin was lucky enough to address the largest gathering of Landscape Architects in the world.  It was a unique chance to take the   pulse, and to map out the future of the field.  Among the distinguished speakers were Chris DeVolder of 360 Architects, Tobiah Horton of Rutgers University, and Erin Kelly of Next Energy.

Nathan's presentation focused on the roadblocks and misperceptions regarding using reclaimed building materials in commercial and residential projects.  He discussed the cost effectiveness, both financial and environmental, of reusing everything from hardwood floors to bricks to stone. Today, 40 percent of landfill waste comes from building construction and demolition.  Construction and demolition waste contributes 100 Million tons to US landfill waste annually. This means that every year we trash and bury the equivalent of 273 Empire State Buildings.

Landfills are filling up fast

But there's hope.  Nathan presented an alternative to buying new, one in which building materials are recycled into sustainable, polished projects that are good for the bottom line and for the planet. Those building or renovating would think "used" before "new" and those demolishing would think "reuse center" before "trashcan."  The ASLA Conference was a great opportunity to connect as an industry, showcase best practices, and present a blueprint for a more sustainable future.  

Building a better future, together

SXSW Eco StartUp Showcase selects PlanetReuse Marketplace powered by InvenQuery


August 21, 2012
PlanetReuse Marketplace powered by InvenQuery was selected as one of the 15 semifinalists that will present at SXSW Eco Startup Showcase presented by Austin Technology Clean Energy Incubator and Austin Energy.

Spotlighting innovation and entrepreneurship, the Startup Showcase is a one-day venture capital pitch competition exhibiting the best of cleantech startups from around the world.

Sarah Backhouse of Future360, will give a tour of clean technology innovation as the 15 semifinalists, handpicked by the Startup Showcase Advisory Board, compete before a live audience of venture investors, potential clients and a panel of Startup Showcase Judges, comprised of cleantech investment experts from top firms across the country.

This inaugural competition will take place on October 4, the second day of SXSW Eco, and includes exclusive networking opportunities for the participants as well as a conference-wide Awards Reception. Join us at SXSW Eco this year!

Here is a list of the amazing 15 Semifinalists:
CEFCO Global Clean Energy
iLumi Solutions Inc.
Kiverdi, Inc.
KleenSpeed Technologies Inc.
Nexus eWater
NuMat Technologies, Inc.
Omni Water Solutions
Radiator Labs
Staxxon LLC
ZETA Comminities

Best of luck to all of the Semifinalists!

PlanetReuse Selected as Grant Recipient for Mission: Small Business grant program from Chase & LivingSocial


August 21, 2012
Today, Chase and LivingSocial announced the 12 small businesses that will receive grants of $250,000 each through Mission: Small BusinessSM, a grant program designed to increase awareness of the important role small businesses play in local communities. Supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, nearly 70,000 small businesses registered and 3.1 million consumers showed their support by voting for their favorite small businesses. 

Out of the 70,000 applicants, PlanetReuse was selected!  

We are excited to use the funds to continue to build the reuse industry, reuse economy, and expedite the outreach and acceleration of our the launch of PlanetReuse Marketplace powered by InvenQuery

Participating small businesses from across the country were evaluated based upon their applications which were required to demonstrate a feasible growth plan, creativity, overall passion for their business and the potential to make a positive impact within the local community. 

Selected by a panel of small business experts, the Mission: Small Business grant recipients are:
  • Bright Power (New York, NY) – Leading provider of energy management solutions that save building owners energy, money and time
  • Carmin Industries (Jacksonville, AL) – Veteran, woman-owned job shop specializing in parts for architectural, aerospace and defense, and commercial industries
  • Didrick Medical (Naples, FL) – Supplier of the world’s first active-function artificial finger assembly designed specifically for partial finger amputees
  • EcoScraps (Provo, UT) – Creator of nutrient-enriched soil from recycled fruits and vegetables, which grows healthy plants in an environmentally friendly way
  • Ellessco LLC (Ventura, CA) – Producer of reusable travel bags with inflatable air chambers that protect and insulate liquids and fragile items
  • Lasher Sport (Anchorage, AK) – Producer of custom, diverse, high quality, highly functional and great looking wheelchairs, sports chairs and handcycles for the disabled community
  • PlanetReuse®(Kansas City, MO) – Consulting and brokering company that matches materials with designers, builders and owners to serve LEED efforts and sustain the planet while cutting costs
  • RonWear Port-able Clothing® (Beachwood, OH) – Clothing manufacturer of stylish and functional premium “treatmentwear” for men and women facing health challenges
  • Skillastics® (Corona, CA) – Product manufacturer dedicated to fighting child obesity through fitness and sport-specific activity games for varying ages, fitness levels and group sizes
  • The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen™ (San Francisco, CA) – The first restaurant in San Francisco dedicated to serving award-winning grilled cheese sandwiches using the best quality local and unique ingredients
  • (Los Angeles, CA) – Firm dedicated to buying quality used boxes from companies and reselling as a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to buying new boxes
  • Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (Brooklyn, NY) – Creator of simple ice creams made through traditional methods that celebrate the best ingredients from small producers
Thank you to everyone who voted for PlanetReuse!  You can learn more here on a link for more information: msn MONEY.


Increase Profits with Recycling and Reuse Best Practices


August 17, 2012
There's a great article on Triple Pundit on how to make money by recycling and reusing construction material. It comes as a result of re-occurring questions that many designers, home owners, architects, developers, builders and many others about what to do with stuff coming out of projects. 

PlanetReuse would like to thank Bill Roth, Founder of Earth 2017, for his time, interest and continued outreach to help raise awareness about building material reuse.

Here is preview of the article and a link for the balance of the piece, including a link to a short video from our discussion with Bill at Sustainable Brands '12 earlier this year:
"Construction managers’ success in recycling and re-purposing materials/fixtures can make the difference on whether a construction project comes in on budget in today’s still-depressed construction industry. Two factors are driving this trend. The first is the increasing value real estate buyers and renters place upon green labeled buildings. In California a green labeled home sells for a 9 percent premium. In the commercial building market the increasing numbers of companies focused on operational efficiency has created a strong rental market for USGBC LEED certified buildings. A key feature of LEED certification and other green labeled buildings is the reuse of materials, fixtures and buildings.

Construction recycling/reuse best practices

The other major driver is a growing market in recycled materials and reusable fixtures. The construction industry uses more materials by weight than any other industry in the United States producing 325 million tons of recoverable construction and demolition materials. Approximately 8,000 lbs of waste are thrown into the landfill during the construction of a 2,000 square foot home. That is a lot of construction dollars that will either be lost to landfill tipping fees or gained by successfully selling this material for recycling or reuse."

Here's a link to the rest of Bill's article.  Enjoy!

PlanetReuse Selected as a Top 25 Social Entrepreneur for 2012 by Businessweek


June 22, 2012

PlanetReuse is honored to be featured as one of America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2012 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Competition for the “final five” is stiff (and inspiring!) so please cast your vote for PlanetReuse to help realize a dream where:

  • any commercial or residential building owner who needs construction materials, considers used before new; and
  • reuse becomes THE obvious and easy alternative to the landfill during deconstruction or renovation.

This is why we are preparing to launch PlanetReuse Marketplace (powered by InvenQuery), a national website that connects building material “haves” and “wants” with their local reuse centers to easily donate and shop for reclaimed materials online.

A special thanks to our friends at the Kansas City, Missouri Habitat for Humanity (HFH) ReStore, the Chicago ReBuilding Exchange, the Wake County HFH ReStore in North Carolina, the Chesapeake HFH ReStore in Baltimore and the Montgomery County HFH ReStore in Gaithersburg, MD for their ongoing collaboration in helping us design and test a technology solution especially for the unique needs of the reuse industry.

Reuse centers like these and the 1,100 more around the U.S., keep valuable materials out of landfills, create local jobs, provide affordable home improvement resources (at roughly 40-60% off the price of new!) and support the missions of other local non-profits.

To learn more about reuse centers please visit the store links provided above.
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