Did you know that the U.S. throws out an average 12 million tons of textile waste every year? That breaks down to about 82 pounds per person. Some estimates indicate that most of the textiles that end up in landfills could be recycled in some way.
Gently used clothing can easily be resold, while other textiles such as curtains, blankets, and other textiles could be cut up and used as rags or filler. But this recycling can not take place unless people chose to donate their used items instead of throwing them in the trash. Here’s how to make the transition easily.
What to Know About Charitable Clothing Donations.
There are many ways to donate clothing. Some charities only accept boxes of clothing after a representative has picked through the offering, and others are perfectly willing to do a donation pick up. No one way is better than another exactly, but it is likely that one way will be more convenient for you. The goal is to donate old textiles instead of of throwing them away, and whatever method accomplishes that goal is the best.
Why Donating Used Textiles Is Not Just Charity, But Responsible Behavior.
Practicing “green” living comes in many forms. This can mean everything from eating certain foods to avoiding certain cleaning products. The unused textiles that people throw away end up at landfills. These landfills that are located all over the U.S. are actually near capacity on a regular basis.
Good land stewardship is a responsibility that belongs to every citizen. It might appear to be a small thing, to take old items to one place instead of another and believe that it could effect the environment. However, one small act taken by many people does add up to something big. With the option of donation pick up, that small act is made even easier.
The Difference Between Gently Used and Unusable.
Used clothing stores want items that were “gently used,” but this term confuses some. There is a misconception that the clothing needs to be practically new, which is not true. It might be difficult to ask someone if you use donation pick up and made the appointment online. If you would like to sort through your old clothes before arranging a pick up, here are some simple tips to distinguish what belongs in the donation pile, and what is beyond help.
Age is not necessarily an indication of suitability. An old item that is clean, with no stains, rips, or tears is the perfect candidate for donation. Don’t worry if it is wildly out of style. Conversely, a newer item that has stains, discolorations, rips, or is threadbare is not suitable. Neither are any items worn closely to the skin such as underwear, bras, socks, or stockings.
How to Arrange Donation Pick Up.
Once you have sorted through the pile of clothes to donate and deemed which items are suitable, it is time to figure out how to get the items to the clothing charity. An easy method is to run an internet search for the nearest charities. Most will have a phone number prominently displayed on the main page.
Call them to ask about pick up options, and to possibly arrange a time. Some charities will allow you to arrange a date and time for pick up right on the webpage. Make sure to take note of how the charity prefers donations to be made. Some will only accept clothing items in a sealed cardboard box, while others prefer you to use one of their bags and to attach a list of the items packed inside.
Donating instead of throwing clothes away is an honorable task. It’s small, and not a flashy show of conscientiousness, but it does make a difference. It’s not only that fewer items are ending up in the landfills. The donations are ending up in the hands of people who really need them. The next time you find yourself clearing out your closets, take the time to arrange for a donation pick up. It’s a small step that makes a difference.