Earth Day 2022 is right around the corner (Friday, April 22), and now is the perfect opportunity to assess your own environmental footprint on our fragile planet.
The great news is that making positive environmental changes can be easy. While swapping your car for a bike or covering your roof with solar panels would be amazing progress, you can still make a huge difference with your smaller day-to-day habits. Just think about the lifecycle of the objects such as clothes, decor, and any necessities in your home. If you can limit your product consumption to used items and make sure that you responsibly dispose of them when you’re done, then you’ll dramatically decrease the resources you’re using up and, thus, the impact you’re making on the planet.
Sometimes it’s as easy as 1-2-3. Here are three examples of how people just like you can go green:
1. Donate used clothing and household goods
Did you know that each year, Americans produce approximately 262 million tons of waste? And while the recycling rate of plastics and paper has increased over the years, our landfills are still overloaded with reusable materials and textiles. According to one estimate, the average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles each year. That’s a lot of clothing that could be repurposed or recycled.
At Goodwill Central Coast, we encourage the community to donate unneeded clothing and household goods instead of throwing them in the garbage. Our convenient donation centers stand ready to accept clothes, toys, books, furniture, electronics, and more, making it easy for you to donate and reduce your environmental impact.
When GCC receives donations, we resell them at affordable prices in our network of retail stores. Anything that isn’t sold in our retail stores is recycled responsibly with help from local recycling partners. By donating to Goodwill, you will feel great knowing that you’re doing your part to reduce waste and protect our planet.
2. Shop secondhand
Buying used items from your local Goodwill store is another easy way to help the planet and reduce your environmental impact. When you choose to purchase something used instead of something brand-new, you extend the life cycle of that item and eliminate the need to create more new products and more waste.
Best of all, when you shop at Goodwill, you’re supporting our efforts to provide job skills training and employment services to those facing real barriers to advancement. In short, when you shop at Goodwill, you become a job creator in your community.
3. Host a donation drive
This is a fun way to get involved in the community and fundraise for your school or organization. Everyone can take part either through donating, reaching out to the community, or volunteering on the day of the event.
We provide a Goodwill truck to collect the goods and a friendly Goodwill employee to help collect and sort the donations for the duration of your event. We will compensate your group for every truck you fill with donated goods. Have questions or interest in hosting your own donation drive? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org new email
Here are some additional “green” tips:
- Avoid single-use plastic when possible. Invest in items such as metal or bamboo straws and reusable water bottles to cut down on disposable plastic use.
- Limit water use. Turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, or washing your face. Try to take shorter showers—you can do it!
- Make a compost pile for your lawn clippings and tree trimmings. Compostable materials can be repurposed to help your garden thrive!
- Bike, walk, run, or use public transportation when possible instead of driving to reduce carbon emissions. If you do drive, try to combine multiple trips or carpool with a friend or co-worker.
At Goodwill Central Coast, environmental stewardship is fundamental to everything we do. Our social mission is made possible through environmentally responsible practices, including repurposing and reusing clothing and household goods.
In a typical year, Goodwill Central Coast receives more than 630,000 donations, totaling more than 25 million pounds of clothing and household items. From those generous donations, GCC diverts more than 16 million pounds from landfills, and the money raised helps fund programs that put more than 13,000 people back to work.