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Savers

Did you know that Americans throw away around 81 pounds of clothing, towels, bedding, and other "textiles" per person in one year?

Genie cannot believe that figure. GIF from "Aladdin."


That's a lot of usable items going into the garbage! In fact, according to the Council for Textile Recycling, textile waste takes up about 5% of space in landfills that are already pretty crowded.

That's huge.

Why does this matter? Well, manufacturing clothing takes a lot of resources.

The textile industry is known for being hard on the planet and the people working and living near textile factories. Throwing away clothing means also throwing away all of the resources that went into making it.

Plus, when your clothes sit in a landfill for long enough, they start to break down and release dyes and other chemicals into the ground, which can contaminate local water. Those pants you grew out of and the dresses you no longer wear can affect the environment for years after you throw them away.

Mmmm, gross old clothing water. GIF from "Broad City."

Reusing clothing instead of tossing it is a great way to relieve some of the environmental stress.

Every piece of clothing that is recycled saves greenhouse gases that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere to replace those textiles.


Your clothes are too cute to end up in a home like this. Photo via Ashley Felton/Wikimedia Commons.

There are a lot of ways to save your old clothing from a trip to the landfill.

1. There's one obvious answer: resale shops. Just because you're done with your clothes doesn't mean they're done being clothes.

According to the CTR, only 15% of the textiles we buy are donated or recycled. We can do better.

So many clothes ready for their second home. Image via Steven Depolo/Flickr.

2. "Well-loved" textiles can be recycled into eco-friendly rags and shop towels for factories and auto shops.

This is the path taken by about 30% of clothing donations made to charities.

Pro-tip: You can also cut out the middleman and cut up some old textiles to make your own rags to use around the house! Speaking from experience, old souvenir shirts from Disney World make awesome rags for washing your car.

3. Recycled clothing that's not fit to be worn anymore (I'm looking at you, T-shirt with armpit hole) can be broken down into textile fibers that get reused in a lot of ways.

You're probably surrounded by broken down, recycled clothing right now: It could be in the stuffing in your couch, the insulation in your walls, and the padding under your carpet. When you donate clothing that can't be resold, this is often where it ends up.

Put clothing in the garbage? As if. GIF from "Clueless."

And, of course, buying less clothing to begin with is a great way to keep it from the landfill.

Bottom line: Recycling your clothes is a simple, effective way to be kind to the planet.

That's why lots of cities, including New York, have those big clothing donation bins in public places. Some cities and states are even trying to implement curbside textile recycling, so residents don't even have to drop off their clothes.

But even if your city doesn't have those options, donating your clothes is still important.

On Earth Day, in honor of our planet, you might want to take some time to go through your closet and take your old clothing to a donation site.

And if you're really looking to score some brownie points with planet Earth, round up your old clothes and offer to drop off your friends' bags at a donation location too!

Let's keep our awesome planet awesome.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

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