Every Day is Earth Day: Tips from Goodwill for Reducing Waste & Reusing Goods

Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia works to steward our environmental resources year-round. As we celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, we want to remind friends of the Earth about the simple steps of environmentally friendly living: recycle, reduce and reuse.

Each year, supporters like you donate more than 50,000,000 pounds of gently used goods at Goodwill’s 34 retail stores and 11 attended donation centers across the Central Virginia and Hampton Roads regions. We strive to keep more than 40,000,000 pounds out of local landfills—including 1,000,000 pounds of electronics.

“Goodwill is committed to helping our communities recycle materials, reduce waste and reuse goods,” said Charles Layman, CEO of Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia. “Donations to Goodwill support our career development and job readiness programs, which gives job seekers the knowledge and tools they need to be self-sufficient and provide for their families. Strong families lead to stronger communities, and we’re proud to be a part of that future,” added Layman.

Here are tips on how you can help protect our planet:

DON’T throw clothing or toys in the trash.

      • You can donate them to Goodwill to turn your “trash” into someone else’s treasure. Items that cannot be resold in stores go into our post-retail processing program for re-sale with vendors who recycle or re-sell the raw materials. Whether your donations are sold in retail stores or through post-retail, the proceeds benefit our mission.

DON’T use plastic disposable, non-biodegradable kitchen items, including dishes, glasses and flatware.

        • Goodwill stores sell gently used cookware, drinkware, flatware and picnic sets at great prices.

DON’T collect more plastic bags when shopping for groceries, running errands or transporting food.

      • Find reusable, washable cloth and canvas bags in the accessories section of Goodwill stores.

DON’T leave old vehicles in junkyards.

    • You can donate vehicles–including cars, motorcycles, RVs, campers and boats on trailers–to Goodwill. We work with a partner organization to provide free towing from your location; proceeds support our employment programs. Call 1-866-233-8586 for arrangements.

DON’T throw old electronics, including computers and TVs, in the trash.

  • Goodwill partners with Dell’s Reconnect program to recycle devices and computer equipment from any manufacturer. Our trained team members use a Department of Defense-grade security software to  wipe personal and sensitive information from devices, refurbish them to original manufacturer settings and resell them. We also accept gaming devices, phones and audio systems. You can shop for refurbished computers at bargain prices at Goodwill’s electronics stores in Richmond or Hampton.
  • Make re-cycling used goods a community event. Although we do not pick up donations from individual households, we do work with community groups and businesses for bulk pick-ups. Whether your business is moving or has excess inventory, or your community yard sale has unsold items to donate, Goodwill may be able to help. Our calendar is already full this spring, but to learn more, contact Russ Rainer in Central Virginia by calling 804-745-6300 or Roger Fournier in Hampton Roads by calling 757-248-9405.

To make every day an Earth Day throughout the year, click here to find your nearest Goodwill.