There’s always a shelf of books for sale at Edinburgh Furniture Initiative. To celebrate #choosetoreuse week the charity is setting up a book borrow.
Chief Executive of the Foursquare charity, which runs EFI says getting people to borrow or swap things is a great way to conserve resources.
Heather Arni says: “We will ask our staff to bring in their own books and we might add some DVDs and CDs into the mix.
“We will ask people to put a donation of 50p into the box if they wish. But it is more about encouraging people to bring them back once they have read them.”
It is an idea that people can adopt and run in their own workplaces. As well as reducing landfill book swaps are also a good way to share resources and raise money for charity.
“A lot of people throw away their old books, CDs and DVDs and it is a shame.
“I buy a lot of books myself – but I always try and pass them on to someone else.”
“There are a lot of people who still read books. Not everyone uses Kindles. New books are expensive. And unfortunately libraries have started to disappear.
“Our customers come from all walks of life. And the range of books we get is incredible. We have one customer who comes every day to look through the books.”
Books are only one section of the goods on sale at Edinburgh Furniture Initiative, which resells donated items of furniture to raise money for homeless and vulnerable people in Edinburgh.
There are two large EFI depots at Canonmills and at Sighthill. Members of the public are welcome to come along and browse but can also view furniture online.
Money raised by selling donated furniture is used to help fund hostels, support and training services for homeless people.
Heather Arni says: “It is a very diverse charity. We now have 70 staff and 15-20 volunteers. We also have people doing community service.”
Foursquare, is a member of Community Resources Network Scotland, which represents organisations which promote reuse, repair and recycling. Members of the public can support the organisations by donating items – but also by choosing to buy second hand.
“It is all about trying to encourage people across Scotland to reuse, repair and recycle.
“We are an Edinburgh based charity and we help people in Edinburgh so we work in the community. To me that is what CRNS is about. It is about encouraging communities to take more responsibility for stuff they don’t have use for any more.”
Chief Executive of CRNS Mary McLuskey added “Choose to Reuse week is all about discovering the joy of reuse, repair and recycling – the feel-good factor when you pass on something that will be appreciated by someone else, the excitement when you find a second hand gem, the relief when you realise you can afford to furnish your home after all.”