Kondo for the Climate

When it’s time to declutter, you can help the planet at the same time.

Marie Kondo’s method for decluttering has become an international phenomenon through her book and TV show. But what happens to the unwanted stuff that doesn’t “spark joy”? Keeping it out of the landfill can help curb emissions.

If something isn’t useful to you anymore, giving it another life by selling or donating it helps the climate by reducing the need to make new stuff.  Manufacturing new consumer goods uses energy and raw materials that create emissions, but when people are able to reuse them, those emissions are avoided.

Find out what kinds of items local charities accept as donations, or consider hosting a book or clothing swap. If the useful life of an item is over, its materials might also be recycled. The zero-waste site Trash Is For Tossers has a great list of ways to recycle clothes, and be sure to look up you local municipality’s recycling options. Many big office supply stores, like Staples, offer free battery and electronics recycling.

Even if you’re not throwing away stuff this week, you can still make a plan to recycle, donate or resell things in the future.

So this week, act on climate by learning about the options that are available in your area.