In the face of growing evidence of global warming, many people are wondering what they can do to help save the planet and stop the harm being done to the environment. In fact, people across the world are taking action by recycling, composting, using metal or paper straws and enacting other eco-friendly habits to try and do their part.
One thing that not many people think of when they try to reduce their carbon footprint is their clothing. We often wear clothes for years on end, and they seem less immediate to us than the plastic in our straws or our food packaging. Treating clothes in an eco-friendly way, however, can be hugely beneficial for the Earth and can reduce individuals’ carbon footprints significantly. Here are some reasons to recycle your clothes and help the planet:
Keep Clothes out of the Trash
If you throw your clothes away, there’s only one place they’ll end up: a landfill. It’s likely your clothes won’t degrade for hundreds, if not thousands of years, meaning they’ll be taking up space and polluting the ground for that long. Additionally, landfills are expensive and maintaining them takes important tax dollars away from other projects and services that can help people more.
Recycling your clothes is a great way to keep them from becoming burdensome garbage. Maybe your shirt will find a new life being worn by someone else. Maybe someone will use your denim jeans as part of a craft project. Recycling your clothes makes them useful again and prevents them from becoming a burden in a landfill full of trash.
If your clothes do end up breaking down in a landfill, the lack of oxygen in these locations will cause your decaying clothes to release dangerous greenhouse gasses. Keeping your clothes out of a landfill helps prevent the release of greenhouse gasses, slowing the effects of global warming and serving the missions of organizations like the Climate Leadership Council and others.
Help the Less Fortunate
Recycled clothes are often sold at resale and second-hand shops for much less than they were worth originally. This gives people who need clothing an opportunity to wear exciting, interesting or stylish things for low prices. Donating your clothes to one of these shops will help people in need and provide them with the clothes they need to work jobs or live their lives for relatively little money.
Other organizations donate used clothing to people in need in developing countries. Your clothes could help someone struggling to make a living and give a better life to a person with a poor economic outlook. Your old clothes can be worn or resold by people in developing countries, improving lives and stimulating economies around the world.
It takes a lot of energy to create a piece of clothing. From the manufacture and treatment of various fabrics and materials to the sometimes-lengthy assembly process, each piece of clothing you wear took a lot of time and energy to create. Throwing away clothes after you’re finished with them means more will have to be created, requiring greater energy expenditures.
Recycling clothing gives it a longer lifespan, which justifies the energy spent to make it. The longer a piece of clothing is useful and functional, the less overall energy is wasted. Donating your clothes reduces the need for making more, limiting the amount of energy used in clothing manufacturing every year.
Clothes aren’t considered as often when people are attempting to “go green” and reduce their carbon footprints. Because of their longevity, few people think about recycling clothes, but doing something other than throwing them away is good for the world and good for other people. Being smart about what happens to your clothes after you’re done with them can reduce your carbon footprint and improve both society and the planet, making a substantial environmental impact. Even if you’re just one person, you have the power to make a change for the better and help heal the planet.