Our province is rich in natural resources. One of the most recognizable is our water.
New Brunswick is known for its beautiful lakes, winding rivers and vast coastline. This water is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna. Our supply of water is also something that we take for granted too often. As long as there is a clean supply coming from our taps, or we’re able to jump in our favorite swimming hole, life is good, but as soon as that is disrupted, only then do we stop to realize just how important this resource is to our daily lives.
Water pollution is a real problem around the world. From plastics being ingested by fish and wildlife to sewage and industrial pollution fouling waterways and making them inhospitable places, we need to step up to do our part to protect our water. One of the easiest ways we can do this is by giving our clothing a second life.
The textile industry is one of the world’s largest consumers of water. To manufacture a single cotton shirt, we use an astonishing 2,650 litres. A single pair of jeans requires nearly 7,000 litres. The production of textiles uses one third of the world’s fresh water resources. Consumption aside, the textile industry also accounts for 20% of the world’s water pollution, according to the World Bank. Thousands of chemicals are used to create millions of metres of fabric including dyes and fixing agents, bleaches, solvents, and detergents.
What can we do to curb some of this intense use of our water and damage to our environment? One of the easiest things is to simply re-use. The more garments we’re re-using and extending the life of, the fewer that will have to be made new. Consider patronizing a thrift shop like Value Village, rather than buying new. You’d be surprised at just what you can find, and at a fraction of the cost.
Another easy way to have real environmental impact is to donate your used-clothing. You can easily drop bags of used clothing or small household items at any of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living’s (NBACL’s) Big Orange Bins (BOBs) found in communities around New Brunswick. To find one near you, simply visit nbacl.nb.ca/ccp.
To make donating even easier, NBACL also offers a free pick up service for donated items. Simply visit the website, fill out the “Request A Pickup” online form, and NBACL will look after this rest.
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Donating used clothing and small household items to NBACL supports people in your community. Through our partnership with Value Village, all proceeds paid to NBACL from the collection of donated items goes directly back into our programs which support those in our province with an intellectual or developmental disability—your friends and neighbours. It’s a win-win for the environment and for people who really need our support.