Surprising Facts About How Clothing Donations Help the Environment

Organizations that help military families

Environmental concerns have been rising for years. Here are some facts you may not know about the environment and how you can do your part to help:

  • The average American makes 4.5 pounds of trash daily. This comes out to an estimated 1.5 tons of waste per year.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency reports that about 75% of solid waste is recyclable, even though only an estimated 30% is actually recycled.
  • Americans create about 21.5 million tons of food waste every year.
  • If that food waste was all composted, the greenhouse gases it would reduce would be equal to the effect of taking 2 million cars off the road.
  • If every American who buys a newspaper recycled just one-tenth of it, 25 million trees a year would be saved.
  • Americans recycled and composted about 87 million tons in 2012.
  • One way to reduce landfill waste and environmental pollution is by clothing donation.
  • The average household in America throws away approximately 68 pounds of clothing a year.
  • This comes out to approximately 12 million tons of wasted cloth.
  • About 99% of that clothing could be donated or recycled.
  • Non-biodegradable synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and rayon, comprise 5% of the garbage found in landfills
  • In one year, approximately $5.8 billion worth of clothing donations were given as charity donations for non profit organizations and charities
  • Donating clothing to charity resulted in an estimated 2 million tons of clothing kept out of landfills in 2011.
  • Textile recycling creates and maintains about 17,000 jobs in the US at any given time.
  • On average, one person buys 10 pounds of recycled clothing per year.
  • Only about 15% of clothing and textiles were recovered for recycling in 2011.
  • About 80% of clothing donations are used by the organizations collecting it for helping families in need and for funding themselves.

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