Most Canadians are familiar with the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. These three Rs are a fundamental aspect of waste reduction strategies, and they are also a major component to the message of Earth Day, an annual international recognition dedicated to environmental awareness and action.
At The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations (NRO), we celebrate Earth Day all month long as we highlight the many ways that shopping and donating thrift are both acts of reducing, reusing, and recycling that help our planet breathe easier.
While the traditional three Rs certainly apply to our NRO operations, the environmental impact of our thrift store operationsis so ingrained in who we are that we even have our own version: Refresh, Recycle, and Restyle.
This year’s official Earth Day theme is “Investin our Planet,” because a green future is a prosperous future, so we are sharing some of the ways that The Salvation Army Thrift Store is investing in our planet everyday alongside our employees, guests, and donors through ourthree Rs:
By Refreshing something pre-loved and turning it into something new–whether that’s just a fresh coat of paint, or a full upcycling project to createa new product–you are extending the lifecycle of usable goods and helping to generate funds that support local Salvation Army programs and services. Refreshing is not just about the item, by empowering neighours in need to shop for essential items free of charge through The Salvation Army’s social services voucher program, individuals and families are refreshed by meeting their practical needs.
As our name says, The Salvation Army Thrift Store is one of Canada’s largest clothing recyclers, proudly keeping over 70 millionlbsof clothing, household goods, and many other items from local landfills across the country last fiscal year. Through ourDonor Welcome Centres and Distribution and Recycling Centres, we give all donated items the best chance for a second life. Items deemed saleable make their way to the sales floor to be sold as Fab Finds at affordable prices to raise funds for local Salvation Army programs and services. Items not sold in store are transformed by local recyclers into industrial rags, insulation material, scrap metal to be used for cars, computers and other limitless possibilities.
Thrifting allows you to be uniquely you, all while saving the planet and your wallet. Choosing to shop for new-to-you items is a powerful statement for your wardrobe and the planet, with the fashion industry responsible for 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Still not convinced? Some of fashion’s biggest icons are proud thrifters, from Sarah Jessica Parker to Alexa Chung.
Thrifting can take many forms for many different people. Thrift is for everyone, regardless of who you are, where you come from, or how you identify. Practice the three Rs with us as we celebrate Earth Day everyday, and build stronger, greener communities together. Learn more about how why #EarthLovesThrift.