Save money and limit your environmental impact with Resourceful PDX

The online tool connects Portland residents with free or low-cost options for everything from home improvement, clothing, art, and more.

A woman and a little girl open up a door on an antique looking cabinet.

Giving items new life is a rewarding feeling.

Photo via Resourceful PDX

On the way to limiting your environmental impact, it’s easy to feel a little bit lost.

That’s where the Resourceful PDX Map comes in handy. It highlights the locations of grassroots organizations, local businesses, and government agencies that help Portland residents reuse, swap, repair, and share items, saving them time and money. You’ll find everything from donation centers to lending libraries and swap shops. The map’s also interactive; community members are encouraged to add things like neighborhood food exchanges and Buy Nothing groups.

The Resourceful PDX project from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability shows how little things — like a fix-first mindset or shopping secondhand — can affect the city’s consumption habits.

Think of how many fossil fuels and natural materials go into making one bike — from the rubber on the tires to the metal frame. Not to mention the carbon emissions from transporting each piece from its respective origin (often in less-developed countries). Research suggests that “the carbon impact of our purchases globally is twice what the local impact is.”

For additional reading, Resourceful PDX publishes a blog showcasing community partners (like ReDeploy) and other sustainable ideas and tips, including how to clean green. There is also an online events calendar listing repair fairs and free markets. Here are a couple to check out this month:

Monthly Free Market | Saturday, May 27 | 1-4 p.m. | Gateway Discovery Park, 10520 NE Halsey St.
Give what you can and take what you need at this market with food, gently used clothing, baby toys, furniture, plants and seeds, and more.

Repair Cafe | Tuesday, May 30 | 6-8 p.m. | Art Design Xchange, 417 SE 11th Ave.
At this first-come, first-served event, volunteers fix small appliances, repair bikes, mend garments, and sharpen knives and tools.