Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mattress Recycling

One of the Mustard Seed’s biggest sustainability projects is its mattress recycling program. Mattresses are a large burden on the waste stream, leading cities to consider creating guidelines for mattress disposal. . Aside from the vast space they consume, they can be dangerous to trash compactors and landfills because of the air pockets they can contain that may catch fire.

A leading idea comes from Canada—the city of Vancouver banned mattresses from being picked up by garbage collectors at the beginning of 2011.
About.com reports that the amount of mattresses and box springs recycled in the first eight months of the ban could be stacked to tower one and half times the height of Mount Everest. I know that sounds like an exaggerated telling of The Princess and the Pea, but it’s both true and amazing how much waste was repurposed in a single city.
Hard at work stripping a mattress

Mattress recycling doesn’t just save worthwhile materials from the dump, however; it also provides jobs, as the mattresses must be sliced open by workers to pull out the valuable steel, foam, Dacron, and cotton. We have three mattress-recycling employees working right in our location at 12 Mustard Seed Lane in Orlando. The Mustard Seed has personally recycled enough mattresses to cover two football fields, which is one small step for recycling, but one giant bed for one person! We can pick them up from your home or business, and will merely ask for a donation to go towards gas and maintenance for our trucks. If you would call us at 407-875-2040 we’ll help you recycle your mattress today!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Volunteering for the homeless: The stories that bring us

Volunteering to help out with the homeless is something that seems to come from a different place with each individual who lends their time. Some may have been directly affected by homelessness, whether it be a family member or friend of theirs that’s endured tough times. Some others simply volunteer their time because they want to help in society.  It’s worthwhile in realizing that not only are there great stories within a volunteer’s reason for giving time, but also sometimes within the items that are donated to the cause.

Personally, of the times I’ve volunteered throughout college and given some items in for the benefit of others, there was a great reasoning behind every one of them. Aside from just looking to fulfill and give back, a family experience had always been a prime reason why volunteering was so important, especially with the homeless and underprivileged.

 There can sometimes be no greater force in the process of volunteering than a personal or family experience. When something like this happens at a relatively young age, which it did for me, it can add perspective to the care free life of a teenager. In my family, it was a cousin who had encountered mistakes, allowing me to see that sometimes forces aren’t in your favor and that every bit of help can be crucial for those in need.

It’s also good to remember that there doesn’t need to be a personal experience to go on and have a great effect. The internet allows many of us to take in stories of homelessness and realize what help can add to some situations. A great example of this is with the recent CBS story done in the area, which went in depth with children and families who are without Orlando apartments and homes. Seeing some of these stories can put giving wheels into motion.

In 2011, we count our blessings that there are so many organizations that are dedicated to giving, with the homeless and underprivileged, as well as numerous others who have hindered opportunity. In the end, it’s crucial to remember the stories which bring the desire to give, as well as the stories that can be developed through volunteering. 

-Guest Blogger Meghan Preston

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Seed Boutique

One of the lesser-known facets of the Mustard Seed is the Seed Boutique, our store that contains thousands of donated items for purchase. Everyone is welcome to come in and benefit from our great prices and wonderful products. The cost of each item—of which the most expensive is our suit jackets at $7—goes towards running the day-to-day charity operations of the Mustard Seed.

Lots of great clothes and accessories are available every weekday

The Seed Boutique is open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm at our warehouse, located at 12 Mustard Seed Lane in Orlando. There you’ll meet Raelynn, our retail supervisor. Besides the day-to-day of moving inventory in and ringing up customers, she enjoys talking to everyone who comes in, and wants all customers to have a great time when visiting. She loves talking to customers, and truly hopes they enjoy themselves when there; she says, “I hope they get clothes, but I also hope they get something more.”

A great assortment of shoes nearly outnumbers the places to put them

The Seed Boutique’s Clothing Program offers particularly needy individuals  the ability to get clothes at an even further reduced rate. Twice a month, families and individuals that have signed up to be a part of the program pay $12 (for adults), $5 (for children) or $7 (for seniors) to shop in The Seed Boutique for 3 tops, 3 bottoms, shoes and undergarments/accessories.

A rainbow assortment of t-shirts line the wall

Often seen on the retail floor is Jackie, who spends time deciding what is placed in the store and arranging clothes to make everything accessible, easy-to-find, and attractive. She helps everyone find what they need, remembering customers by what they seek, and making sure that if their needs weren’t met on one particular visit, they certainly will be on the next. She tries her best to hold up her claim that she “Can find what anyone is looking for, no matter of size or color.” Jackie is also planning a Seed Boutique “Re-fashion Show” to promote the variety and quality of what’s available.

Regardless of your age or size, the Seed Boutique has what you are looking for. A particular specialty is children’s clothing, which ranges from 25 cents to $1, providing an extremely affordable solution for those in need. There’s truly something for everyone at the Seed Boutique; check back for pictures of our special items and new arrivals!