My husband very generously bought me a session with a personal stylist for Christmas. It was ridiculously fun — like being on the show “What Not to Wear” and I felt very special and beautiful. Minus the weird part in the ladies’ dressing room where the fitting lady made me get down on my knees to show her the plank position because she wanted to know how my stomach was so flat after four kids…I digress. Needless to say, I returned home with a great deal of new clothing.
I’ve maintained my closet’s ‘weight’ by the rule “One thing comes in and one thing goes out.” I also turn around my hangers once a year. I turn them back around when I’ve worn the item. That way, after a year, I can easily see which items I didn’t wear and weed them out.
But, I’d never had a shopping trip like this one before. I had to really overhaul my closet, and fast. For the children, I make a pile of nicer or special items to give to friends and then the rest of gently used clothing can be dropped off at Goodwill or picked up by Purple Heart.
But, outside the swim school, I saw this giant yellow box with the word PLANET AID.
They accept clothing and shoes and you don’t have to pre-sort the clothing. In fact, the clothing doesn’t have to be gently used because they will sort the clothing into ‘reuse’ as clothing and ‘recycle’ — as professional cleaning rags and other textile materials made from old ripped t-shirts and jeans.
So, NO CLOTHING EVER NEEDS TO GO IN THE TRASH CAN OR LANDFILL AGAIN. Do you get that? Isn’t that amazing? I’m wowed by this concept. You can read all about it on their website, but our used clothing is making a change internationally, not only in reducing trash, but by improving the lives of other people.
Then, I read this fact: Right now, only 15% of textiles are actually being reused or recycled. My excitement balloon deflated just a little bit.
It’s daunting. It’s hard. But, we are the people that can make a difference by filling those yellow boxes. By doing the right thing. By sending our shoes over to people we don’t know. Today is Earth Day. I watched “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” all morning with my twins. We can do this. We can. The flying blue-green Captain said we could.