How Your Clothing Donations Can Help the Environment

Written by Wall Street News on May 26, 2016. Posted in Charitable donation, Helping disabled veterans, Purple heart donation

Donations to veterans

Americans are a generous bunch. We give about 4.7 billion tons of clothing to charity each year and $358.38 billion was given to such charitable organizations in 2014. Almost three quarters of social media users indicate that they would take some kind of action in response to a friend posting a story on social media about making charitable donations. What few realize is that donating clothing and other textile items can make a significant positive contribution to the environment.

Our consumption over time has increased too; in comparison to 20 years ago, the average American tends to buy almost twice as many pieces of clothing over their lifetime. As much as 5% of all municipal waste comprises textiles; this is because only about 15% of them are recycled. This is despite the fact that nearly all of household textiles and clothing can be recycled, no matter what the quality or condition is. As Americans we throw away as much as 70 pounds of textiles, linen and clothing annually. In the US, we send about 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills per year. In fact, used clothing purchases resulting from household donations prevented as much as 2.5 billion pounds of fabric from entering the landfills in 2006. Almost half (45%) of all recycled clothing is worn as used clothing.

Of course, the value of charitable donations such as these is not only in terms of the impact on the environment. There are tax breaks, too, and most importantly there is the support and help you are providing to needy people. In many cases these charitable donations offer a much-needed lifeline to the most vulnerable in society. If you are uncertain where to donate household items, consider wounded veterans charities such as The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). Such wounded veterans organizations ensure that the proceeds of such donations benefit those who have returned from active service and are in need of help for themselves or their families. Many also offer donation pick up to make it easier. Such options that are invested in helping military families should be top of mind in terms of where to donate household items.

If we increase our recycling of clothing by just a small percentage, we can help the environment, while also assisting those vulnerable groups.

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