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Sustainability tips from DEP as we enter the holiday season

Finding ways to reduce, reuse and recycle can not only help save natural resources but will also prevent pollution.

YORK, Pa. — When we think of recycling, we often think of soda cans and cardboard boxes.

However, recycling clothes, furniture and other household goods is also key to reducing our impact on the environment.

“It actually helps to reduce the pollution, the carbon footprint, and allows us to really reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills," Jamar Thrasher from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said.

DEP recently held an event to remind Pennsylvanians of the importance of recycling. 

Along with reducing landfill waste, Thrasher said recycling items such as clothes will also help clean up our waterways. 

"The amount of textiles, the clothing, in our waste stream has actually increased," he told FOX43. "And so removing this has a tremendous impact on, you know, our environment and the environmental quality.”

There are a variety of ways to recycle your clothes and home goods, from donation centers to consignment shops.

Alexandria Hammond, owner of My Girlfriend’s Wardrobe in York, says donating to or selling at second hand stores saves natural resources such as water and reduces emissions.

“When you shop at a consignment store, or a vintage store, or a resale store, you are actually saving natural energy resources, such as water," said Hammond. "And you’re also reducing emissions because less of those new products are being made. So you are just saving the Earth and you’re also saving yourself some money."

When looking to purchase new items, you can still get high quality products by shopping second hand too. 

“We also have really great items at really great prices that are going to be those name brand and designer items that they love and want and so you’ll be able to get that for them here as well and save some money,” Hammond said.

The overall message as you’re cleaning out your house and shopping for new items this season is to be mindful.

“Going into the holiday season, be mindful of purchases," Thrasher said. "So, if it’s something that you could get [for the same] quality and it could be purchased second-hand, do that.”

DEP has a complete guide on what is recyclable across the Commonwealth, which can be found on their website.

Download the FOX43 app here.

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