The first retail innovation of its kind in Pittsburgh, Fifth Avenue Place will open a temporary environmental store, named reSOLUTION, for the week of Earth Day, starting Tuesday, April 22. To encourage customers to rethink their current practices, refocus on their environment and resolve to lessen their impact on the world, reSOLUTION will accept recyclable or reusable materials that will be either donated or made into other items.
Consumers can drop off the following items at the reSOLUTION store from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 22 through 25: eyeglasses, which will be donated to the Lions Club for use in third-world countries; PDAs, rechargeable batteries, ink and toner cartridges, which will be recycled by Office Depot; cell phones, which will be collected by Verizon to benefit local woman's shelters; blue jeans, which will be recycled for alternate uses; and tennis shoes, which will be made into eco-friendly sport surfaces. Those who donate items will receive a free Earth Day commemorative bracelet.
Fifth Avenue Place will also celebrate the week of Earth Day by partnering with the Rachel Carson Homestead Association to offer free, week-long programming, titled reTHINK|reFOCUS|reSOLVE, for the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Fifth Avenue Place lobby.
- On April 22 (Earth Day), visitors can learn more about reducing their carbon footprint through information from such organizations as CommuteInfo, Port Authority, Bike Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's ZipCar.
- On April 23, visitors can receive information on reusing resources and supporting local businesses from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Construction Junction and the Pennsylvania Resources Council.
- On April 24, visitors can meet the LitterBug and find out more about recycling from Pennsylvania Resources Council, Allegheny Clean Ways, Steel City Biofuels and the City of Pittsburgh Recycling Division.
- On April 25 (Arbor Day), visitors can learn the value of replanting from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Visitors will receive a free tree seedling with a $5 donation to the Rachel Carson Homestead or a $5 lunch purchase in the Fifth Avenue Place Food Court (while quantities last).
"Fifth Avenue Place is committed to sustainable, eco-friendly and green (SEG) principles in its building and retail environments. Through strategic partnerships with some of Pittsburgh's leading environmental organizations -- including this partnership with the Rachel Carson Homestead -- we can offer events and information to help visitors learn more about SEG principles," said Byron Falchetti, president of Fifth Avenue Place. "In addition, by partnering with Rachel Carson Homestead, Fifth Avenue Place is working to create a fertile environment for the next generation of eco-friendly retailers. Our venue will serve as incubator space as we look to engage new partners in testing environmental retail ideas such as new store concepts, programming and product lines."
To encourage increased consumer awareness of sustainable and environmental products, Fifth Avenue Place recently awarded the Rachel Carson Homestead a $25,000 grant to explore retail initiatives and create a series of events, including the Earth Day activities, promoting Rachel Carson and her environmental ethic.
Fifth Avenue Place developed the Retail Marketing Innovation grant after the facility successfully hosted Environmental Leadership Days in December. The two-day informational and educational event attracted more than 3,500 attendees and featured local environmental nonprofits. With the Retail Marketing Innovation Grant from Fifth Avenue Place, the Rachel Carson Homestead, a nonprofit organization based at the birthplace of its namesake scientist and author in Springdale, Pa., will explore opportunities to leverage the Rachel Carson brand by growing its membership base and expanding its retail operations. In 2007, the Rachel Carson Homestead launched a retail presence for delivering the Rachel Carson sustainability message and as a model of the cradle-to-cradle circular supply chain. The organization currently offers branded products, books and a line of coffee that embody this philosophy.
"The grant from Fifth Avenue Place will allow us to promote the environmental ethic of Rachel Carson as Pittsburgh works toward a sustainable, green economy," said Patty DeMarco, PhD, executive director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association. "We will be looking at opportunities to elevate the awareness of Rachel Carson, an iconic Pittsburgh visionary recognized as one of the most important people of the 20th century by Time Magazine. In partnership with Fifth Avenue Place, we will be hosting outreach events to more directly educate consumers about how smart choices can make a difference to environmental and human health. This, in turn, will strengthen the market for eco-friendly retail."
The reTHINK|reFOCUS|reSOLVE events at Fifth Avenue Place will continue throughout 2008 and will include a focus on outdoor activities in July and a focus on health and beauty products in September, as well as the second annual Environmental Leadership Days event in December.
"We are pleased to see Fifth Avenue Place establish a new environmental focus for Downtown," said Mike Edwards, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. "We look forward to other Downtown property owners following their lead in creating unique, eco-friendly retail marketplaces."