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Waste Not, Want Not: Shifting to Thrifting for Waste Reduction Week

October 15, 2021

Waste Reduction Week celebrates its 20th anniversary in Canada when the week-long awareness campaign begins on Monday, October 18th! While each themed day of Waste Reduction Week is important, one is especially meaningful to The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations (NRO) and the work it does across the country: Textiles Tuesday.

“We need to change the mindset around waste and used textiles to realize that this is actually a valuable resource,” says Tonny Colyn, Director of Business Development and Sustainability at NRO. “By shifting our perception around waste, we can empower this material to generate funds that support our local social causes, from food banks to addictions rehabilitation programs, while reducing the amount ending up in landfill.”

In fiscal year 2020 – 2021, The Salvation Army Thrift Store diverted over 70.8 million pounds from local landfills, 27.9 million of which were clothing and other textiles. This textile diversion kept 282,973 tonnes of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere and saved 46,845 kiloliters of water – all while generating funds that support local Salvation Army programs and services that are needed more than ever.

Where can you start?

Be a catalyst! The most important truth to remember is that everyone can personally support environmental initiatives and make a difference – and it’s much easier than you think.

“Not everybody equates donating clothing and household items as an environmental initiative, but it certainly is,” says Colyn. “Donating is itself an act of recycling by diverting goods from landfill and ensuring that these items are given another chance at life. So is shopping second-hand, as you are reducing the environmental strain caused by the production of new goods.”

This Textiles Tuesday, keep these three actions in mind:

1. Thrift and donate a little more

2. Love your clothes a little longer

3. Wash your clothes a little less – and who’s complaining about fewer loads of laundry?

Get started by shopping and donating at your local Salvation Army Thrift Store today, and learn more about what you can do at Happy Waste Reduction Week!