Rethink Waste Kits Help New Habitat Homeowners Go Green at Home



Mel Parker always recycled, but now thanks to the Rethink Waste Toolkit she can compost and clean green too. “This is such a great opportunity to go beyond just recycling. With all of the support and tools that The Environment Center has provided to my family, we are sure to have a positive impact.” The Rethink Waste Project, a program of The Environmental Center, recently gave two families the toolkit to help them reduce waste at home through products, resources and education. 

Lynelle Collins, who was also awarded a kit, felt the same way: “I am very excited about using the Hydro Flask drink containers as well as the thermos. The thermos will be used for our daughter who needs one for school lunches this year. We are also excited about composting. The compost pail fits perfectly on our countertop by our sink, like it was meant to go there. We also appreciated the knowledge and tips to help us go green”. 

 RWToolkit002The Rethink Waste Project engages Deschutes County residents in learning more about local recycling options as well as supporting other local families to Rethink Waste. People visiting will be able to answer a series of interactive questions on recycling, composting, reusing and reducing waste.  Each question answered by the community not only provides information, but it’s also tallied up to support this community cause. For every 250 questions answered, a recent Habitat for Humanity homeowner will be offered a Rethink Waste Toolkit and the education to put it in place in their new home. 

“Bend Area Habitat for Humanity has been focusing on green building technology since 2007 and incorporates this into all of our homes, and now we’re excited to bring that green living aspect to another level inside the home through partnering on the Rethink Waste Project” said Robin Cooper, Community Outreach Manager for Habitat. “These toolkits will provide our Habitat homeowners with an easy way to incorporate daily green living actions like composting, recycling and everyday reuse.”  

“It was satisfying to deliver the toolkits to families that had a real desire to step up their efforts in greening up their homes, especially through composting. Since both families have a garden, their compost tumblers will not only reduce waste but will be producing great compost to use in their gardens next spring.”

The Rethink Waste Toolkit includes recycling bins and signs; reusable grocery bags; reusable water bottles and containers; CFL bulbs; a DIY green cleaning kit and a kitchen counter and outdoor compost bin with information and education to incorporate them. Business sponsors include Hydroflask, Newport Market, ACE Hardware, and Whole Foods Market. Deschutes County residents are invited to visit and answer quiz questions to tally up points so more Habitat families can win Rethink Waste Toolkits.

Rethink Waste is a program of The Environmental Center in partnership with Deschutes County Department of Solid Waste, Bend Garbage & Recycling, Deschutes Recycling, High County Disposal and Cascade Disposal. 

About the Rethink Waste Project:  The Rethink Waste Project is an initiative to raise awareness about the impact of waste in our community and to engage individuals, families, and businesses in reducing, reusing and recycling waste.  Our educational-based programs provide the tools and resources you need to reduce waste – and rethink the way you think about waste. To learn more visit

About The Environmental Center:The Environmental Center educates and advocates for a sustainable future in Central Oregon.  We believe that sustainability hinges on how we live our daily lives: at home, at school and at work.

The Center’s focus areas include educating kids, promoting zero waste, supporting local businesses, and promoting energy efficiency and renewables.

To learn more about The Environmental Center, visit online at or at our facility 16 NW Kansas Avenue in downtown Bend.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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