Did you know that the average American discards about 68 pounds of clothing each year? Sadly, approximately 85% of that waste ends up in landfills. The space for landfills is expensive and becoming increasingly hard to find, and it’s having an impact on our delicate environment.
One of the easiest and most effective ways each of us can take an active role in protecting our precious resources is to recycle. Each and every piece of clothing that is donated to be reused instead of thrown away can have a positive impact on the world around us. Below are just a few of the many benefits recycling your clothing can have.
Preserves the Environment.
Recycling reduces the amount of energy and natural resources that are required to manufacture new goods. Less consumption equates to a cleaner environment. It also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
Reduces Water Pollution.
Manufacturers use large quantities of fresh water to carry away the waste produced as a result of their work. That waste-filled water ends up back in streams, lakes, or the ocean, which further spreads pollution. By using recycled goods in the manufacturing process, less waste is produced resulting in less water pollution.
The use of recycled materials and the lower demand for newly manufactured products reduces the amount of materials that might come from natural habitats, such as forests and wetlands. This helps to preserve and protect the wildlife that call these environments their home.
Similar to the water used in the manufacturing process, when goods are created from scratch, much more energy is required, depleting our natural resources. Using recycled goods in the process reduces the amount of energy needed significantly.
Preserves Landfill Space.
Clothing and textiles, consisting of fabrics such as cotton, polyester, nylon and rayon, are responsible for nearly 5% of the total garbage in landfills today, yet almost all of what’s thrown away could be recycled and reused. With the cost of landfills going up, and the space for them becoming more and more limited, recycling clothing has never been more impactful.
Reduces Global Warming.
Recycled waste reduces the amount of carbon that gets released into the air, thereby reducing global warming as a result.
Promotes Economic Growth.
With more jobs comes economic growth. The recycling industry is one that is not only thriving, but is expected to continue to grow as more and more people become aware of the importance of conservation. The more people recycle, the more the economy will benefit as a result.
Creates New Demand.
When there are more people buying recycled products, the demand for them goes up, further helping both the economy and our environment.
The work that goes into recycling requires people with a wide variety of skillsets, creating many jobs across the globe. In the US alone, recycling is a $236 billion industry. An estimated 1.1 million people worldwide are currently employed in the recycling industry, a number that’s certain to grow.
It’s important to point out that simply tossing your used clothing into a collection bin doesn’t necessarily mean you’re recycling. Sadly, many of the items collected from these bins end up right where they don’t belong – piled up in landfills, taking up space and not being put to good use.
Green Threads is committed to successfully recycling 100% of the items we collect and making sure that they end up right where they belong – in the hands of people around the globe that truly need it. When you organize a fundraising clothing drive with us, you can feel good about doing your part to support environmental preservation through recycling.