Four Reasons You Should Donate Your Clothes
Americans have an awful lot of clothes cluttering up their homes. The EPA estimates that we’re throwing away about 10 pounds of clothes per person, per year. Meanwhile, we’re consuming about 20 billion garments, or 68 pieces of clothing and 7 pairs of shoes per person every year. If you’ve got a closet full of clutter, kids’ drawers with clothes they’ve outgrown, or other home textiles you’re thinking about trashing, here are a couple reasons you should be finding a Red Cross clothes donation center instead:
- When you don’t recycle your clothes, it’s hard on the environment. Landfills fill up fast, and this not only hurts the environment, but also the local city and county budgets where you live. In other words, it’s hurting you. It costs millions to build a new landfill and millions to operate each one. Furthermore, textiles that didn’t make it to a Red Cross clothes donation center go into landfills and break down without the presence of enough oxygen to allow for true biodegradation. This means these potential used clothing donations are decomposing in a way that creates a lot of greenhouse gas. Finally, making clothes costs energy and water. If someone can buy a perfectly good article of used clothing instead of buying new, that’s a savings of electricity and water that’s worth the effort.
- Used clothing donations benefit a lot of needy people. Say your clothes are headed to a Red Cross clothes donation. Some of those clothes might be given away directly, such as to America’s homeless population. In January of 2015, the coldest month of the year, there were an estimated 564,708 people living on the streets in the United States. But even clothes that aren’t given away directly can be sold, and the proceeds fund other important Red Cross activities. Every day of the year the American National Red Cross is giving away blankets, food, and water, and providing shelter and blood to families and individuals in need. When you donate clothing you help make that work possible.
- It’s easy to donate clothes, and they can be used for more than you might think. Even if an article of clothing seems too tattered and used for a Red Cross clothing pick up, it can still be shredded to stuff upholstery or used for other applications that are genuinely helpful and useful to others. Some of it will go overseas, where it has not only direct benefits, but indirect ones also, as sorting and processing it all provides much-needed jobs in the developing world. It’s simple and easy to donate clothes. Most Red Cross clothes donation can be done by dropped by a clothing donation center, or you can arrange for a clothing donation pickup.
- Used clothing donations can even benefit you. Your used clothing donations can be a tax write off. But even more than that, donating your home textiles can help you organize your space and contribute to a better sense of order and peace in your home. Not to mention the sense of joy you’ll feel at having made a genuinely helpful contribution to the environment and to others.
There are a lot of reasons to consider donating your clothes to the needy, from helping yourself to helping others to helping the planet. Most nonprofit organizations will organize free pickups, so there’s no reason not to give today.