Friends!

First: if you haven’t already signed up to assist with our COVID-19 Community Response efforts (currently mask-making, and will be expanding), please do so at JunketHelps.com.

And then: we’ve been fielding inquiries from some of you wanting to donate that box of whatever you’ve finally gotten around to organizing thanks to this Stay-At-Home Self Quarantine time. We’re hearing that most major donation centers have closed until further notice, and have stopped taking donations, and some of you are so desperate to purge that you’re leaving your stuff behind their warehouses anyway (yikes.)…

Others have expressed worry that because of COVID-19, people are going to totally reject secondhand stuff because of the risk.

I see something *very* different:

Given what we do and do not know about traditional supply chains in the midst of an unprecedented crisis (cough toilet paper cough), hanging onto potentially useful items – even if we ourselves don’t need them now – is an ethical choice while we wait out the next couple of months. Your castoffs may be a neighbor’s emergency supply. We don’t know.

You might even be surprised how often you wind up going back to your stash in the coming weeks. Run out of coffee filters? Cut up that stained dishcloth. Low on soap? Finally use that bottle of shampoo that didn’t work well for your hair. What else are you able to use?

And, given how many Amazon warehouses have had staff test positive for COVID (ten as of 3/26/2020, see also paywalled Washington Post article), contamination risk isn’t unique to secondhand products (right now, I’d actually prefer to order a ‘missing one’ bag of furnace filters from someone’s rural closet than have them come from Amazon… I imagine fewer hands = less risk…even better if that thing can be found inside your own home).

In fact, contamination risk has *never* been unique to secondhand products…

I get it – you may be tired of looking at some of this stuff/clutter/immediately-unnecessary mass. If so, now is the perfect time to organize/box/label/tuck it away in a basement, attic, closet or garage. There is a future on the other end of self-quarantine. We don’t know what it looks like yet, but it will involve opportunities to move things along in responsible ways.

In the mean time, figuring out how to use what we have to avoid buying stuff that’ll come to us from an infected space is not only a great safety precaution, it’s also creative problem-solving fodder at its finest!

If you’re in the midst of the downsizing process (empty nesting, moving, etc.), now’s an even more important time to do so in a way that honors the community. We offer a class on Ethical Downsizing. Here is a link to our class outline and resources. While some links reference a time before Self-Quarantine, many others will be useful in helping you decide how best to sort, organize, and sift.

Good luck to all!

2 Comments

  1. Melinda Harris on April 1, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    I thought Junket was gone forever because of All Square!?! I’m so glad I saw this on someone’s Facebook page!

    • Julie on April 2, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      Aww, Melinda! Thanks so much for reaching out!

      It’s true: we hadn’t planned to leave the corner at 41st & Minnehaha (we were trying to be *helpful* and share our space with a start-up while bringing restaurant infrastructure to a food desert of a neighborhood), but sometimes life has plans that we don’t understand (and tbh, I was SO committed to staying open despite road construction-related burnout that I wouldn’t have budged if we hadn’t literally been bullied out of the building, so perhaps we needed a betrayal of that magnitude in order to get unstuck?).

      I literally had no idea how we would move forward (and how do you tell an audience of nearly 40,000 what’s going on, when you don’t even know the answer yourself?) And so, we paused.

      Junket’s always been bigger than retail, so we focused on our values: helping to reduce demand for new manufacturing. Creating ease of access to the most sustainable goods & materials possible.

      During the last year and a half, we’ve rebuilt our online store, and were well underway in rolling out an entirely new approach to supporting community, when COVID hit. And so, we’ve moved our solutions online: supplying materials to mask-making efforts (and connecting community members to each other for the purpose of getting much-needed PPE into the community… and, admittedly, for the sake of helping our community focus on something they can control when so much of what’s happening now is so far *beyond* our control).

      In hindsight, shutting down retail has been a gift, though it’s true that we lost contact with many in our audience (and so, welcoming you back is a gift!).

      I really appreciate your kind words. Check out the web site (the ‘browse‘ link is a digital version of digging through the old basement), and also junkethelps.org when you get a chance – the sites are on parallel paths right now, but that’ll change as we get our social supply chain infrastructure in place and can pivot to integration. 🙂

      Stay safe and healthy, Melinda!

      Julie

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