Thrifting For Zero Waste In Las Cruces

Nov 14, 2017

A Las Cruces thrift store has been recognized by the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce as one of the 2017 top environmentally sustainable businesses in town.

Green Chamber President and CEO Carrie Hamblen says, “We launched the Sustainable Business Recognition Program in partnership with the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) to honor businesses in the community that implement zero waste practices.” Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary Thrift Store at 840 El Paseo Road was awarded third place, out of the fourteen businesses that submitted applications.

Safe Haven raises funds for the Safe Haven Animal sanctuary – a no-kill zone that shelters abused and abandoned animals, until they can be placed in new, loving homes.  While carrying out its mission, the Thrift Store has worked hard to be a no-waste zone.

Store manager Cassandra Lockwood explains the store fills a large recycling dumpster weekly with cardboard, paper products, plastic, and shredded paper, and notes, “Volunteers and customers collect and sell aluminum and tin cans usually once a month. We welcome can donations at all times! We use that as an additional way of funding the animal sanctuary.”

She adds, “The store now has more than fifty volunteers who make sure that nothing that comes to the store goes to waste.” In thrift stores everything being sold has been preowned, and is being given a second life. Even though not all donations make the cut to be sold, volunteers have found ways to put everything to good use.

Volunteer Juan Carrillo, senior work program participant, says, “All unsold or unusable electronics are recycled.” Worn towels donated by customers are used for cleaning at the thrift store and at the animal sanctuary. Broken eye glasses are passed along to be repaired and reused; unsold greeting cards are donated to elementary schools to be used for crafts or letters. Partial containers of cleaning supplies are used to clean the store.

If you have a sustainable business and would like to apply for the 2018 Sustainable Business Awards, the self-nominating period will be open November 15 (America Recycles Day) through December 31st. For more information contact the Las Cruces Green Chamber at (575) 323-1575 or

Green Connections is submitted by the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA), managing recyclables, solid waste, and fighting illegal dumping for residents and businesses in the City of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County. You can reach the SCSWA at (575) 528-3800 or visit