Palisades Branch teens are hosting a gift swap from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 at the Palisades Branch Library community room, 861 Alma Real.
Residents are urged to bring any gently-worn, clean clothes, gently-used toys, unused holiday gifts and participate in a free exchange. Rather than just throwing things away, this is a chance to participate in recycling.
Fiona Herzog, who is leading the group “Teens Leading Charge,” and the head of the Palisades Teen Council said, “the purpose of this event is for people to give older items away in hopes that someone else might enjoy them.”
Herzog said that people are free to bring any clothes they don’t wear anymore during that time and “If you see anything on the tables you might like, you are free to pick it up!”
When you drop off a “gift” and pick up a “gift,” be sure to say hi to the new young adult librarian Ziba Perez.
It is important to recycle, especially clothing, because a 2017 International Union for Conservation of Nature report estimated about 35 percent of the microplastics that enter the ocean come via synthetic textiles.
Sixty percent of clothing contains polyester. According to a 2016 Greenpeace report, polyester is made from crude oil and emits three times more CO2 than cotton. Those clothes are also not easily degradable and synthetic microfibers are released when they are washed; these fibers make their way into rivers and seas.
According to a January 2019 Vox story (“More Than Ever, Our Clothes Are Made of Plastic. Just Washing Them Can Pollute the Oceans”), polyester, nylon, acrylic and other synthetic fibers are all forms of plastic.
The article explains that fibers leach into the environment when clothing is laundered. “Estimates vary, but it’s possible that a single load of laundry could release hundreds of thousands of fibers from our clothes into the water supply,” the story said, noting that the tiny fibers, less than 5 millimeters in length, can eventually reach the ocean.
Even though women say they recycle their clothes by giving them away, still about 85 percent of all textiles end up in landfill.
Greenpeace wrote in its 2017 report: “Since the rise of fast fashion in 2000, we now buy twice as many clothes and wear them only half the time. The volume of clothes produced is depleting resources such as water and land, challenging the Earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases, and producing unbearable quantities of toxic chemical and clothes waste.
“We are pushing for new business models to make companies produce better quality clothes, improve re-use and recycling systems, and encourage new shopping practices that are sustainable.”