Think about how much trash you have thrown out during your lifetime. Imagine what it would look like if it accumulated into one pile. Was any of that “trash” just old stuff you no longer wanted, but was still in good condition? Could it have been donated, recycled, or reused instead?
To keep your carbon footprint to a minimum, here are some tips to donate items you no longer want or need that can’t be recycled or otherwise reused.
Living in an apartment, your space for storing clothes might feel limited. One advantage of this is it encourages you to consolidate and declutter frequently. But when you sort through your clothes and linens, what do you do with the shirts, jeans, and towels you decide to part with? Well-worn leggings and shoes that no longer have soles are examples of clothing items that may actually be ready for decomposition. Most articles of clothing you would consider getting rid of, however, could easily become someone else’s treasure once you donate them.
If you don’t have a charity or other foundation where you usually donate clothes, look for one the next time you spend a day cleaning out your closet. Some national organizations that accept donations include the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the National Federation of the Blind, Dress for Success, Big Brother Big Sister Foundation, and Goodwill.
Unless you have heaps of clothes to donate, it might be difficult to arrange a pickup just for clothing. So consider whether you have any furniture or appliances you are also ready to donate. Many organizations that offer free pickup for larger items will gladly take clothes off your hands and ensure they end up with someone who will make good use of them.
If your apartment is fully furnished, you may have a rule that you need to get rid of a couch, chair, or sofa every time you bring a new piece of furniture home. While it might seem difficult to donate furniture than clothes, some foundations offer free pickup services.
The National Kidney Foundation, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and Vietnam Veterans of America are a few national organizations to consider calling to coordinate a pickup. Since many local organizations offer free furniture pick-up, you may want to do regional research and support your community by donating locally.
One of the most environmentally and socially responsible food habits is to buy only as much food as you need. If you happen to have extra food that ins’t perishable, you can donate it to a local food bank. If there are no upcoming food drives taking place in your office, at your children’s school, or in your apartment, contact a food bank to see how you can give away food you do not need so that it doesn’t end up being fed to a landfill.
Tossing of perfectly good items is common, but wasteful. Think twice about whether someone else could benefit from something you no longer want before dropping it in the trash. You could end up helping out a family, as well as the environment. This sort of green living is admirable and infectious. It can also make you feel good. Live Life + Love Life, but do it with the environment and those who are less fortunate than you in mind!
What do you do with clothing, furniture, and other items you no longer want or need? If you recommend working with any organizations, local or national, please share in the comments!
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