It’s fairly well-documented by now that Americans consume a whole lot. The U.S. is known for its tendency to shop a lot, spend a lot, and–unfortunately–waste a lot. While recycling efforts of the past decade mandated by state and federal initiatives have reduced some of this waste, there are still plenty of wasted opportunities to recycle and reuse. The good news is, recycling can be a lot more gratifying than simply tossing an empty water bottle into the properly designated bin. Recycling can also mean giving back, and in no small measure.
The key is remembering that the word “recycle” simple means to put back into use. In other words, thinking about recycling in this more holistic sense opens the door to many more waste reducing and helpful opportunities. Donating to charity organizations is perhaps one of the best ways to recycle and in turn help others out! Many people think in terms of money when hearing “donation” or “charity,” but giving back can also mean recycling old clothes, books, movies, toys, and other items that will find their way to someone who can put them to good use once more.
So donating old and unused items is a good way to recycle. But why else donate? Here are three great reasons to start giving back.
1) How Far Clothing Can Go
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that each year the average American throws away 10 pounds of clothing. While some of this clothing is most likely damaged in some way beyond repair, much of it is also thrown away simply to make space for new clothes. This means tons of perfectly good but old clothing is simply wasted every year. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to donate clothing and avoid this unnecessary wasteful habit.
For instance, there are Red Cross clothing pick ups all around the country. Where do these clothes go? Some used clothing donations are sent to various thrift stores to be sold. Some of the proceeds then go toward disaster relief and other important causes. Other Red Cross donations go directly to people in need of clothes or whatever other items are donated. So your simple clothing donation might not only clothe another body, it might also help save lives across the globe! Wherever the clothing goes, Red Cross clothing pick ups are a good way to recycle, reduce waste, and give back to those in need all at once.
2) More Convenient than Ever
Another great reason to start giving to charity organizations this year as that it’s easier than ever before. In addition to the traditional methods of driving to a Red Cross clothing pick up location or similar place and dropping off items, there are now organizations that come right to your door and collect your donations for you! All you need to do is research the acceptable items, pack them up, schedule a pick up time, and watch as your donation makes its way from your door to a better place!
3) Be Selfishly Selfless with Tax Deductions
If the act of giving just isn’t enough to convince you to give back, there are considerable tax benefits to donating as well. Donating to charity of specific financial amounts are pretty easy to keep track of when it comes to tax season, but one can also deduct the market value of physical donations (such as clothes, toys, etc.) giving throughout the year! So the more you donate, the more you can get back from the Internal Revenue Service each year.
Whatever your reason for donating, the act of giving back has positive ripples. So recycle, and feel even better about it than you normally would!