smartthread blog

Make your School SMARTer

Over the past few months we’ve been discussing how consumers can make textile-friendly decisions to make a difference for our environment. But, with the 2018-2019 school year right around the corner, there’s an opportunity for schools to make a difference, too! While many school systems already teach their students about the importance of recycling aluminum, glass and paper goods, it’s also imperative to teach them about the importance of recycling textiles.

Why is it important? Here are the basics:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average person throws away 81 pounds of clothing per year. That adds up to 3.8 billion pounds of unnecessary waste added to our landfills.
  • Clothing and household textiles currently make up 6.3 % of the waste in landfills.
  • A textile is any item made from cloth or an artificial fabric like vinyl. Textiles are used for clothing, linens, bedding, upholstery, curtains, carpets, and other items. Any textile item, even if it’s worn, torn, or stained, can be recycled. You can even recycle a single shoe! Items simply need to be clean and dry.
  • Recycling clothing and textiles decreases the use of natural resources, such as water used in growing crops and petroleum used in creating new clothing and textiles. It also decreases the need for chemicals used in manufacturing new textiles and the pollution caused by the manufacturing process.

So, what can teachers and school systems do to educate their students and help bring about change? SMART has created lesson plans and educational tools that you can use in your classrooms to teach students about textile recycling! Designed to meet Common Core Standard required by schools, it’s easy to incorporate textile-friendly education in any classroom.

Resources we offer include letters to parents, lesson plans broken out by age group, fact sheets, infographics, and even templated resources to help jumpstart a textile recycling drive at your school! Interested in learning more? Visit our resources page here.

Teachers can also view additional resources and tips to keep their classrooms textile-friendly by checking us out on Facebook and Twitter. Together, we can make an impact and reduce the amount of textiles that make their way to our landfills!