Local business works toward sustainability

Issues regarding sustainability and a greener planet have arisen with the arrival of Earth Week, which is observed annually in Murray from April 22 until tomorrow.

In 1990, Earth Day spread across the globe, and along with a boost in worldwide recycling efforts.

One local organization contributing to a greener planet is Angel’s Attic Thrift Store.

Mike Crook, who has been the manager for one and a half years, explained the different ways Angel’s Attic contributes to recycling and sustainability, as well as efforts to give back to the community.

Crook said the store was founded in July 2002 by St. John’s Episcopal Church with the goal of helping the needy.

“Over time it morphed into a store where the raised funds go to Angel’s Community Clinic,” Crook said.

Angel’s Community Clinic is a healthcare clinic for uninsured individuals in Calloway County.

Crook explained the various ways Angel’s Attic is able to help the environment by recycling and taking on sustainability projects.

“Instead of throwing things away, people can donate things to us,” Crook said. “Then we recycle or repurpose the items.”

The employees have to check every item that comes in, and if it does not work or is not in good enough condition, they give those items to other organizations.

“Anything I can recycle doesn’t end up in landfills,” Crook said. “We are a very green company. And we’re a lot bigger than I would have ever dreamed.”

One example Crook gave of their recycling efforts involves donated shoes. Whenever shoes are donated to the store but are not usable, they ship the shoes to Soles for Souls, an organization that grinds the heels down on the shoes and then sends them to third world countries.

The most recent project Angel’s Attic has taken on is a joint effort with Fort Campbell, a military air base in Clarksville, Tenn., Some of the barracks at the base are being demolished, but there are thousands of pieces of furniture that are still in good condition.

Rather than allowing all the furniture to be destroyed, Fort Campbell decided to donate all of the solid oak furniture to Angel’s Attic.

“This project is humongous,” Crook said. “You can’t fathom how much furniture it is. It blows my mind.”

Crook said the furniture is being sold almost as fast as it is being brought in.

Crook said it is more about the people than the merchandise, though. He said he tries to make his store, which he estimates welcomes 200 to 250 visitors daily, a climate that makes the people feel valued.

“It gives people an opportunity to give because it benefits the clinic,” Crook said. “It’s a big deal to people of this community.”