By Kami Snowbarger, Director of Product Communications, Just Between Friends Franchise System, Inc.
While I am admittedly not a very “green” gal, I am teaching my children not to liter. They are also learning how to conserve electricity and not waste food. My parents taught me these things as a child and I am passing the lessons on to my own children. But times have changed. I was taught that polite people do not liter. I am teaching my children that not only is it not polite to liter, but it is also not smart. Smart people think about how liter costs us and the earth.
Each year the average American throws away more than 68 pounds of clothing. The average American purchases only about 10 pounds of recycled clothing a year. According to the non-profit Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the typical U.S. city with 50,000 residents has to pay (with local tax dollars) for the handling and disposal of some 3,000 tons of textiles every year. Textiles make up about four percent of the weight and eight percent of the volume of all municipal solid waste in the U.S. In 2006, according to Earth 911, people who bought used clothing by shopping at second-hand or consignment stores helped to save 2.5 billion pounds of clothes.
At our house we are trying to do our part to help. No, I don’t make my own compost and I don’t drive an electric car. I do, however, buy second-hand clothes. Twice a year I sell, “consign”, my children’s outgrown clothes and buy new, gently used clothes at the Just Between Friends sale in Tulsa. Children outgrow clothing so fast and you never know when they are going to eat a popsicle in their new outfit. I don’t worry about that. I know that when I buy clothing at JBF I am not only getting great, name brand clothing, but I am also saving money and helping the earth. I don’t want to contribute to the 3,000 tons of waste in my city. Consigning at JBF helps me and others across the country recycle our children’s clothes, toys and more. That helps the earth and saves everyone money. Which is not only smart, but makes me a little bit of a “green” gal.