By Jim Williams

CHICAGO (CBS) — Art supplies at an affordable price, and it’s helping protect the environment.

Morning Insider Jim Williams explains about a store that just opened its second location in the Chicago area, welcomed by artists and teachers alike.

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What we might see as trash ready to be hauled away, Eleanor Ray sees as a world of creative possibilities.

Craft felt once thrown out is now part of a work of art – Eleanor’s own creation – hanging at her store, called The WasteShed.

“We are a thrift store for art supplies, school supplies, creative materials of all kinds,” she said. “Clay, and easels, and craft paint, nicer paint, print making supplies.”

Art supplies – many of them recycled and reused – selling for a fraction of what you’d spend at retail stores.

“We provide the link between, you know, materials that are just sitting around and not being used and people who will use them to do good stuff,” Eleanor said.

This store in Evanston just opened over the weekend. It is the second WasteShed location. Eleanor’s Humboldt Park shop has been around for seven years.

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Artist Hahn Ray – no relation to Eleanor – once a customer, is now an employee at WasteShed.

“An oasis of art supplies and creative reuse was something that was really big to me,” Hahn said.

A section of the store is free to all educators. Eleanor points out grade school and high school teachers often spend money out of their own pockets, and that can be very expensive.

“The average teacher spends $500 a year out of pocket on materials. So we’re trying to help them offset that cost; and also find sort of unusual, and interesting, and unique materials that they might not be able to get in other places,” Eleanor said.

It’s a marriage of art and conservation.

“It’s immensely gratifying. The community that we built in Humboldt Park has been absolutely terrific,” Eleanor said. “And we’re really looking forward to establishing similar community in Evanston.”

For a full list of supplies you can donate, visit their website.

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If you’re interested in donating, you can email donations@thewasteshed.com with the location you’d like to donate to, a list of items you’d like to donate, and some pictures (if possible) to give WaterShed a better idea of what they’ll need space for.