Whether it’s buying organic foods or recycling basic household items, people are constantly confronted with choices on how to reduce their impact on the environment.

Connecting the dots

“This is vital to the future because these companies have the potential to create awareness and foster an environment of shared responsibility to our carbon footprint.”

Joe Laur, co-founder of SEED Systems, an environmental consulting firm said “Those who are interested in things like organics tend to be more conscious of the importance of recycling.

But more people are beginning to connect the dots.” Textiles, which include clothing, accessories, household items and shoes, are among the most overlooked recyclables by consumers, according to Eric Stubin, chair of the Council for Textile Recycling.

According to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average U.S. citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and textiles each year.

First steps

Companies like Levis, Gap and Nike have taken the first steps toward educating the public by providing programs that incentivize customers to return used clothing to their stores to help reduce textile waste. Most recently, H&M announced that they are offering a discount to customers returning used H&M merchandise.

“This is vital to the future because these companies have the potential to create awareness and foster an environment of shared responsibility to our carbon footprint,” said Stubin