Earth Day is an annual event to demonstrate our support for environmental protection. In the spring of 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day to force the issue of environmental affairs onto the national agenda. Earth Day has inspired people worldwide to take the initiative and help the environment. Some examples include: in 2012, 100,000 people in China rode their bikes to work, and in 2011, planted 29 million trees in Afghanistan.
Goodwill's mission to help New Mexicans access skills training, job development, and social services goes hand in hand with our efforts to live sustainably. Since the early 1900s, Goodwill has been recycling and reselling donated items. Our sustainability objective is to reduce, reuse, and recycle – our methods keep tens of millions of pounds out of New Mexico's landfills each year. Here are some ways you can live sustainably with Goodwill.
1. Donate your gently used or unused items to Goodwill
We accept clothing, shoes, furniture, houseware, electronics (working and non-working), books, jewelry, vehicle (working and non-working), etc. We work hard to recycle and re-purpose everything. We'll try to extract as much as we can from recycling the various parts of any item that can't be sold in our stores for the items we can't resell. Recycling also helps us to generate revenue for our free programs and services.
2. Shop second hand
The fashion industry makes up 10% of humanity's carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. To lessen the harmful effects of the fashion industry, you could visit your nearest Goodwill and purchase new to you items. Annually, Goodwill diverts around 6.8 million pounds of textiles from the local landfill.
3. Dispose of waste properly
The general rule of thumb is to recycle plastic, paper, cardboard, and aluminum. To help the recycling process, make sure your items don't have food or liquid residue. Lastly, don't use plastics bags to contain your recyclables because that contributes to the waste.
4. Unplug electronic devices that aren't being used
The United States Department of Energy reports that homeowners can save anywhere between $100 and $200 each year by unplugging devices that are not in use. This will also reduce carbon emissions because most of our energy comes from fossil fuels.
In honor of Earth Day, live sustainably with Goodwill, and we can positively impact our community and the world.