If you’re in the market for some new threads, consider buying old ones. Thrift store shopping can be a great way to save money and reduce your impact on the environment, if you can stand to wear gently-used garments — ones that have seen a wash cycle, of course.
Also, donating your old clothes to a second-hand store, instead of throwing them in the trash will keep your contribution from ending up in a landfill. Some thrift shops will even buy your old digs, cha-ching.
Like any other industrialized nation, the United States produces a lot. We are a nation of producers and consumers. We buy new things, then we throw away the packaging. In some cases, we trash the actual things we buy when they become damaged or obsolete, then we buy more new things.
This makes for a lot of waste, most of which — 56 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency — will end up in a landfill
Though clothing and other textiles made up less than 10 percent of municipal solid waste — things we use and throw away each day, like product packaging, food scraps, grass clippings, sofas, computers, tires and refrigerators — produced in 2010, it’s still about 13 million tons of the stuff, according to the EPA.
Only 15 percent of the textiles thrown away in 2010 were recovered for recycling.
We are getting better at recycling, but we’re also producing more waste. The EPA estimates that the rate at which we recycle municipal solid waste has increased from less than 10 percent in 1980 to approximately 34 percent in 2010. However, during that time, the amount of waste produced per person per day has increased from 3.66-4.43 pounds, according to the agency.
Are you a thrift shopper or donator? Have you sold your threads to a second-hand store? Let us know in the comments section.