Recycling — By the Numbers


Recycling and donating older or misused materials is a great way to help out individuals who are in need of such things and may not otherwise have the means to attain them. Clothing donations, for example, do a great deal of good within lower income communities, providing families on a tight budget with a practical means of clothing themselves. The amount of good this does in communities all over the world is incalculable, often times making significant improvements in the quality of life of individuals who sorely need the assistance. In many cases, the aid provided through recycling and donations is even more welcome and even more vital than that — sometimes it makes all the difference to a person\’s health and well-being. It is a particularly unique and special feeling to give to those who truly need.

We\’re doing an okay job of it, too. Across the year 2007 in the United States alone, experts estimated that about $5.8 billion worth of clothing related donations were made to various charity organizations all around the country. That\’s a huge amount of donations! But, we can be doing even better.

Speaking in terms of waste production alone, the United States was responsible for the creation of an estimated 12 million tons of clothing and textile waste. In layman\’s terms, this means that Americans were throwing a lot of things in the trash that could have easily been recycled or donated. In fact, experts claim that around 90% of all clothing thrown out in the United States in 2011 could have been recycled or brought to a clothing donations pick up area. If you find yourself asking \”where can I donate clothes?\” — there is sure to be one of these places in your area.

To get a sort of pragmatic picture of how much money and people we could be saving with those 12 million tons of waste, consider this — if every American were to start recycling a meager one-tenth of their newspapers, it would save 25 million trees a year! If you were to bring that many trees together, they would form a forest so vast and so expansive, it would be impossible for you to see across the whole thing with the naked eye! Imagine how much we could be saving by intensifying our recycling efforts even further.

Making clothing donations is extraordinarily helpful to so many people. But, considering the above, it\’s clear that these efforts are helping not only others, but you as well, through the positive effect it all has on the environment.