Sustainability of our environment is the most important thing we can do for future generations to enjoy our planet. In order to preserve our surroundings, we must focus on reducing, reusing, and recycling.
According to the Institute of Sustainable Communication, the clothing industry is the world's second-largest clean water polluter. The industry also emits ten percent of the global carbon emissions, which is more than international flights and maritime shipping. It also produces 21 billion tons of waste each year. So how can we help?
When factoring in the energy and resources it takes to make every item we use on a daily basis, why wouldn’t you try to get a full life out of that item? By just throwing out household items and clothing into the garbage, irreversible damage is being done to the environment.
If it's useable, Donate it!
Did you know once in the landfill, a cotton shirt takes about one to five months to decompose? Synthetic fabrics like polyester, spandex, and nylon are even worse. These materials take even longer to break down – the combined products may take between 20 to 200 years to fully break down.
Depending on the blend of denim, it may take between one and five years to decompose. Why not restyle them and bring a new look to your wardrobe? Donate them so others can extend the life of your denim jeans, rather than sending them straight to the landfill.
Considering all the effort it took to make your shoes, why just throw them away? Shoes that end up in landfills take 30 to 40 years to decompose. If you have gently used shoes that are still useable, donate them!
Clothing that ends up in landfills can sit there for 200-plus years. As clothing joins the rest of the garbage in landfills, it breaks down and releases toxic greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, into the environment. In fact, landfills are the third-largest source of atmospheric methane on the planet.
In Canada, the average person throws out 81 pounds of textiles annually, while North Americans send 10 million tons of clothing to the landfill every year, most of which could be reused or recycled.
Goodwill Niagara is doing its part to help keep the environment clean for future generations. Since 2012, we have diverted 101.3 million pounds of goods from going to landfills across North America.
As one of the greenest organizations in our community, Goodwill Niagara works locally in partnership with the Region to help Niagara be sustainable and reverse our carbon footprint. We believe that if everyone works together, we can keep our environment safe for future generations to enjoy.
Goodwill Niagara does its part in our community. Every year we help keep over 10 million pounds of usable items out of our landfill. We need your help to continue this trend to be more efficient in keeping our community a great and safe place to live.