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.
Goodwill's mission is to provide skills training, job development, and social services to New Mexicans. We generate revenue to fund our mission by selling gently used items. This funding allows us to offer many services to help our community. Our free services and programs include Gateway to Work Employer Services, GoodJobs, GoodSkills, Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, Production Assistant Training, Supportive Services for Veteran Families, Veteran Family Services, and the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
In 2021, we successfully supported 118 Veteran families, 279 homeless Veterans, 680 Veteran families, and more. One of those successes is Abel. Abel has extreme anxiety, which has made it increasingly difficult to find employment. Additionally, Abel has minimal customer service and cashier skills. He was looking for an opportunity to enhance his skills and abilities while overcoming his disability and decided to enroll in Goodwill's Senior Community Service Employment Program. Abel was eager for a chance to get back into the workforce but was extremely nervous about where he would train, and he did not want to be in a place with numerous co-workers or customers.
Abel was placed at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in the receiving area. This allowed him to train in an area away from the busyness of the store and customers. Over six months, Abel has found ways to break out of his anxiety and progress with his training. Abel has been a remarkable trainee and is showing significant improvement. He is becoming confident in his ability to communicate with staff and customers. He is more relaxed and happier. Abel is now assisting customers with their many home improvement needs and shows promise of being able to complete his training and re-enter the workforce soon. (stock image used to protect privacy)