PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – For Susan O’Neal, a day in the office looks a little different than most. 

O’Neal is the co-owner of Origin Repurposed in Peoria’s Twin Towers Plaza. Since opening in May, she calls it her dream, making it easy and fun to go green. 

“I know we’ve got lots of plastic and we’ve got to do something with it, but I want to give people alternatives,” she said.

The public interest lawyer and environmental activist sells reusable, recycled, fair trade, vintage and locally sourced products at Origin Repurposed. The items include everything from repurposed art, reusable gift bags, refillable soap containers, paper towel alternatives, and dissolvable washing detergents.

O’Neal said, “I thought that in my retirement, I would maybe open a business like this that would help people make easy, affordable choices to reduce the amount of plastic or paper that they’re using in their home and also to think about where—the purchases they make—where does this stuff come from that you’re buying?”

“I just hope that people just in the next five years say, ‘This is easy. I don’t have to buy this stuff full of chemicals that was made in China. I can buy something cool here.’”

Susan O’Neal

O’Neal’s interest in supporting the environment started when she was a student at Illinois State University.

“When they showed a map of all of the nuclear power plants and all the nuclear and toxic waste dumps in the state of Illinois, I was really angry,” she said.

And now O’Neal is encouraging others to take small steps to make a big difference in the world.

“It’s very easy to take this home and try it. If you don’t feel like it’s for you, okay,” she said. “But at least try it and let’s start thinking about where we buy things.”

Origin Repurposed is located at 456 Fulton St., Suite 182 in the Twin Towers Plaza. The plaza will also be hosting an expo event on Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. showcasing vendors in the area.