Lincoln Goodwill Celebrates World Environment Day
By Payton Fallick
World Environment Day was formed on June 5th, 1974, and after nearly 50 years of celebration, has established itself as the largest platform for environmental public outreach in the world. This year, the celebration will be hosted in Sweden and follow the slogan #OnlyOneEarth, which is a renewal of the slogan utilized for the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in 1972. This year, more than 150 countries are joining the cause as they strive for “collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.”
Why Prioritize the Planet?
To keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, we need to cut yearly greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. If the global warming temperature exceeds 1.5 degrees, weather catastrophes will increase, several species will be lost and 99% of coral reefs will be destroyed. As more areas become uninhabitable, people will be forced to relocate, which will put an irreversible strain on both the environment and our communities.
What Can You Do?
Donate your gently used items to Goodwill. On average, 81% of textiles end up in a landfill while only 19% are donated or recycled. When you donate to Goodwill, you give the items you once loved a second life and redirect them from nearly 200 years of sitting in a landfill. In 2021, Lincoln Goodwill diverted more than 2.3 million pounds of items from the local landfill and works to increase their recycling numbers every year.
Choose slow, sustainable fashion. Textiles account for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, and the fashion industry is the second-largest industrial polluter, just behind oil. The fast-fashion industry, in particular, encourages people to buy trendy items, which are often poorly made and quickly replaced. This forces individuals to buy new items at a faster rate as their older items fall apart, creating a cycle of pollution and harm. By shopping at secondhand stores like Goodwill instead, you’ll slow down production from the fast-fashion industry and decrease environmental harm. Plus, you’ll save money in the long run.
Cut waste in all areas of your life. Consume less and strive for sustainability, not only through your clothing choices, but through other avenues, too. Start small by bringing reusable bags when shopping and avoiding Styrofoam at fast-food restaurants. Or, take it to the next level by only purchasing zero-waste items and taking public transportation rather than personal vehicles. Whether you take small steps or larger actions, sustainable practices can be introduced in all facets of our lives.
When we work together to live more sustainably, we can make a big difference. Find a Goodwill location near you and start living greener today.