Since our country’s founding in 1776, we have prided ourselves on our ability to band together in the face of impossible odds in the name of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That sentiment is alive and well today as our nation continues to face and address concerns regarding poverty, inequality, and discrimination. As politicians continue to dance around the issues, an increasing number of Americans have taken it upon themselves to be the change that our nation needs — it all starts with an idea that slowly manifests itself into a movement that demands to be recognized; this is the face of change.
We lead the world in a plethora of areas, no least is waste. America is the world’s largest consumer and waster, hands down. Research has proven that Americans waste 12 million tons of clothing and textiles every year; it is estimated that roughly 90% of that waste could have been reused and recycled. Taking into account our population, it is estimated that the average American generates roughly 4.5 pounds of trash each day — over the course of a single year that amount equals 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. Moreover the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 75% of that solid waste could have been recycled although only around 30% is actually recycled at this present moment. Greatness starts with a change, that change starts with each and every one of us taking responsible steps to minimize our waste and maximize our effort to recycle for the sake of our nation as a whole.
What We Can Achieve Together
Although we have become internationally infamous for our ability to produce waste, let it be known that we as Americans are taking steps together to decrease our landfills while simultaneously helping those in need. In 2007 there were around $5.8 billion worth of charitable donations for non profit organizations in the form of gently used clothing and textiles. Estimates from 2011 suggest that around 2 million tons of clothing was recycled or donated nationally to charity in the U.S. Non profit organizations are dedicated to communities, as many of them provide clothing and food to families in need while providing a source for cheap clothing that can be worn as new; the average American purchases around 10 pounds of previously used clothing each year thanks to the donations of generous Americans throughout the country.
Who Benefits from Charity Donations?
In our world full of cyber scammers, many of us have developed thicker skin and more skeptical minds that boarder along the cynical — always ensure that donations are directed towards a non profit organization to make sure that those in need receive the benefits of your charitable donations. Around 80% of the clothing donated in the United States is used by charitable donations to clothe the needy and provide funding to keep the organization afloat. Unfortunately, one of the highest recipients of charitable donations are military veterans and their families. In 2012, the unemployment rate for returning veterans in our country reached 9.9%, around 2% higher than the unemployment rate for the general population. Our veterans placed everything on the line to preserve the principles on which our nation was built upon –to this end, many charitable donations are an extent of military support. Although donations seem to spike around the holidays in particular, take careful measure to ensure that military support for veterans and their families be continued year-round by donating clothing, food, and other supplies as needed to non profit organizations. As charities continue to offer military support to veterans and their families, together we can help ensure that our service men and women are not forgotten and receive the military support that they need from citizens around the country.