Your Unwanted Clothing Can Help Those in Need

Helping families in need

The Western world has been moving toward “going green” within the last couple of decades. Recycling has become more of a priority among today’s generations than it used to be. However, despite the environmentally-conscious shift in society, many still do not recycle all that they can. Most people think of bottles and cans as the main recyclable materials in a home, not thinking about the clothes they throw away. Every year, Americans send over 10 million tons of clothing to landfills. Only about 15% of used clothing gets recycled or donated, accounting for 5% of total municipal waste.
Why should I recycle or donate my clothes? When clothes are thrown away, they sit in a landfill. Because of this, more textiles have to be made, which creates more pollution and more waste. There are billions of tons of clothing sitting uselessly, and it’s a never-ending cycle of creation, pollution, and abandonment. Donations of clothing can reduce this and clothe those that are in need. Many charity organizations focus on helping military families and helping disabled veterans. The profits from donations of clothing can help fund recovery efforts for those families and veterans in need.
What clothes should I donate and recycle? The easy answer is: any and all of them. Almost 100% of household clothing can be recycled, and almost half of all recycled clothing is worn as secondhand clothing.
How do I know when to donate clothes? If you live in an area that typically has only one or two seasons, such as the southern United States, and it’s been more than six months since you last wore an article of clothing, strongly consider donating or recycling it.
What are the best charities to donate to? That is very much up to you. There are charity foundations for wounded soldiers, charities for sick children, charities for homeless, etc. Look around your town or city for clothing drop off locations. Some charities may even offer household pickup to make donations of clothing easier.
While going green has certainly been a step in the right direction, there are many more to take before we truly make a positive impact on the environment. Many recycle glass or plastic bottles, but most neglect their clothing. By donating or recycling unwanted clothing, less materials have to be made, which will lead to less pollution and a healthier earth. Good references here.

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