Mitchell Center hosts talk about finding the hidden sustainability gems in Maine’s reuse markets 

The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine will host a talk about sustainability in Maine’s secondhand economies from 3–4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20. 

 While Mainers have been reusing goods for a long time, concerns around climate change, resource scarcity and depletion, and increasing levels of waste have focused new attention on the potential for reuse to address sustainability in how goods are made, used and discarded every day. 

In this talk, “Digging for Buried Treasure: Hidden Gems in Maine’s Reuse Markets,” Cynthia Isenhour and Brieanne Berry will draw on the results of a five-year research project to outline the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability hiding in plain sight in Maine’s secondhand economies.

Isenhour is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Climate Change Institute at UMaine. Her research focuses on how history, culture and power shape environmental governance and policy. Berry is a postdoctoral researcher at UMaine whose work centers on sustainable consumption and waste reduction, with a particular focus on the impacts of reuse.

All Mitchell Center Sustainability Talks series are free and will be offered remotely via Zoom and in-person at 107 Norman Smith Hall on the UMaine campus in Orono. Registration is required to attend remotely via Zoom; to register and receive connection information, see the event webpage.

Please note that face coverings currently are required through at least Sept. 30, 2021, for all persons — students, staff, faculty, visitors and others — when indoors at a University of Maine System facility. For the latest health and safety guidance, visit

Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth, 207.581.3196;