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Back-to-school shopping at Goodwill helps saves money — and the planet

Back-to-school shopping at Goodwill helps saves money — and the planet

It doesn’t matter if your student is heading off to school in the most traditional way, or remaining home to attend classes virtually, shopping is still a popular pastime.

There is always a long, growing list of items that students (and teachers) need for back to school.

For teachers

Everyone knows that teachers in this day and age need to buy many of their own supplies out of pocket, so Goodwill is a handy place to start.

Kicking off the school year with a clean and organized classroom is important, and can even shape the success of the year. When students walk into an organized classroom, they have more respect for the room and the teacher, and it sets an example.

For teachers, fortunately, not all organizational hacks need to break the bank. Especially when you shop at Goodwill, where you’ll find a mix of well-loved and brand-new items that come with affordable price tags.

When a lot of people think of Goodwill, the first thing they think of is second-hand clothes. But, most local Goodwill stores have departments that go beyond the expected clothing and shoe racks. Think books, home goods, wall art, kitchen appliances and more. It’s in this home section that teachers will be able to find the items they need for some creative classroom organization. Here are a few ideas:

  • Those who teach younger children know how quickly toys can get strewn across the floor. Goodwill’s home section not only sells toys for less, but also woven baskets which are perfect for organizing them when playtime is over.
  • Bulletin boards and posters are a great way to customize your classroom and make it a fun environment. It’s easy to cover them with a thrifted sheet, making them the perfect place to display work, pictures, or classroom information.
  • Goodwill always seems to have an endless supply of baskets and bins to help teachers stay organized.
  • Goodwill is a great place to find cheap furniture, especially at the Buy the Pound stores. With a couple coats of paint and a little love, somebody’s trash can be your new classroom treasure.
  • For practical, stylish and affordable clothes, Goodwill is a treasure trove for teachers. It’s easy to put together fun, colorful, professional outfits that are appropriate for the classroom.

For students

It’s become quite obvious that today’s younger generation takes a keen interest in protecting the planet. Shopping for back-to-school clothing at Goodwill sets a great example for expanding young minds.

Many used garments end up in landfills. It’s shocking to realize that the average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing each year (roughly the equivalent of 191 T-shirts).

Within the manufacturing process, a lot of energy consumption occurs during washing, de-sizing, bleaching, rinsing, dyeing, printing and finishing processes. Throwing clothes in a landfill also requires energy.

By shopping at Goodwill, you are also reducing the need for valuable natural resources in the production of new fabrics. To grow the cotton required to make a new cotton T-shirt and pair of jeans takes more than 5,000 gallons of water, but by choosing to buy secondhand, you reduce that number to zero.

There is no better place to shop for back-to-school than your local Goodwill store, especially if you have a mind for bargains.

Here are some examples:

  • Shoes. Children grow out of shoes so fast that it boggles the mind. Sometimes they grow out of a pair of shoes before the shoes even look worn. You can always find like-new, brand-name kid’s shoes at your local Goodwill retail stores.
  • Jeans. Jeans remain the wardrobe staple of kids everywhere, and not only for school. As the weather starts to get cooler, and it will, your kids will reach for jeans every day of the week. Buy as many pairs of jeans as you can find for your kids in their sizes — and maybe a pair in the next size, too.
  • Long-sleeved T-shirts. Before the cooler weather arrives, you will find most people aren’t going through the long-sleeve shirts — which means a better selection for your family. You can find great designer names for discounted prices at your local Goodwill.
  • Backpacks and purses. Purses are great ways to accessorize and bring personality to a strict dress code. And everyone will need a backpack. Your Goodwill retail store is an excellent place to shop for both.
  • Jackets. If you find even one jacket at your Goodwill store, you will have found a bargain too good to pass up. If you find one jacket for each child, that’s even better! You’ll be so glad when fall comes and you already have the cool-weather protection your family needs.

Remember, shopping at Goodwill is more than a fashion statement or a smart choice for your wallet — it’s a social and environmental statement that truly makes a difference. Goodwill not only empowers more than 13,000 people per year through job training and employment opportunities, its programs also help save the planet.

In 2015, Goodwill Central Coast diverted 70,000 tons of clothing and household items from ending up in local landfills. Most of these items were bought at local Goodwill stores and given a second life.

Now that is a happy thought!