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We throw away tons of clothing — here are 3 things that can be done with it instead.

The interesting paths our clothing takes after we get rid of it.

We throw away tons of clothing — here are 3 things that can be done with it instead.
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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.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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