Most people will agree, if really taking the time to think about it, that most societies of first world countries have developed to become consumers of excess. We have reached the point that many luxuries are now seen as necessity, and many people are unwilling to sacrifice those comforts. But if every single person took the time to take a step back and really look at their possessions through the lens of actual necessity, we might be able to shift our society again, this time to one of sustainability and common sense.
Yes, shopping is fun. But changing our habits to reach a more social and environmental consciousness is definitely feasible, and something to aspire to, at least if we are collectively interested not only in the continuation of our species but also in truly caring for our fellow human beings.
The beginning of a new, more sensible era
It will take work, on the part of everyone, to create a world that is more sustainable and comfortable for everyone in it, not to mention for all of the other species we share the planet with. But there are so many issues to tackle, where do we begin? Try finding out where to donate household items, and while you’re there, consider doing some of your shopping at these secondhand shops as well.
Not only are you keeping more waste from being dumped into the overflowing landfills that are choking the planet, but you are potentially providing families and individuals who may not be as well off with more affordable or free, depending on the donation center, options for shopping. And by shopping at these places yourself, you’re taking part in the recycling of materials rather than buying newly manufactured items, calling for further production of materials that there is already an incredible excess of.
Finding where to donate household items
Your search to find out where to donate household items and clothing may take a bit of time and effort, though still minimal in the long run. You may choose to donate clothes to organizations that directly provide to needy individuals, or your charitable donations may go to a store or organization that turns around and sells them at affordable prices. The latter process encourages that recycling process while still helping families in need, as these places often sell items that lower income families can afford, or donate to people or organizations that will help. When you’re attempting to find out where to donate household items and clothing in your community, however, make sure you do your research on the organizations.
Some places that accept donations of clothing and household items play off of the assumption that they will be helping the needy in the local area, when there really is no connection. Other organizations are affiliated with certain groups that hold specific political or religious views that you may or may not agree with. It would be wise to check on these factors so that your contribution is going where you want it to, to those who need it most.
Why it is important to act now
Every year, the average person in the United States will throw away almost 70 pounds of clothing and other textile waste such as linens. This comes at a time that the average consumer in this country is buying at least twice as many articles of clothing as the average shopper was buying just two decades ago. These things can change, and they are, however slowly. In one year, about 2.5 billion pounds of textile and fabrics avoided adding to the landfill problem as people bought used clothing.
So what can I do?
Quite simply, the most effective actions you can take to encourage change are to lead by example and use your voice. Let people know there are better ways to shop and to get rid of what they don’t use, and then practice what you preach. About 70% of people using social media would take action as a result of a friend posting about making a donation of some sort. People will listen, especially if you show them how easy it is to take part in changing the world for the better.