Repurposing, Recycling Old Clothes Cuts Carbon Footprint

Dec 24, 2013

One way to reduce your carbon footprint is to donate or repurpose your old clothes and other rags. Textile recycling has a greater impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions than you might think.

Representatives with the nonprofit Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles said clothing and textiles are not typically considered recyclable products. But they estimate 95 percent of all clothing and other household textiles can be recycled and repurposed, as long as they are clean and dry.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2 million tons of textiles were recycled in 2011. That was equivalent to removing 1 million cars from the nation’s highways. That's a greater impact than recycling glass, plastic, and yard trimmings, and nearly equal to the impact of recycling aluminum.

Anyone in Rhode Island can donate their clothes to a nonprofit. Warwick, Barrington, and Warren residents can recycle clothes at their local recycling facilities.

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