National Take a Hike Day

Today is National Take a Hike Day. Here is Vermont we have endless options for leisurely or strenuous hikes, and no shortage of beautiful scenery (even during stick season!). Hiking — or even just walking — has tons of benefits for our mental and physical health.

And while you don’t always need a ton of gear or special clothing to go on a hike, there’s no denying that outdoor gear and specialized clothing (hello water-proof boots and convertible pants!) can play a large role in helping us enjoy earth’s beauty and bounty — from day-long hikes to overnight camping trips.

But what is all this gear made from and where does it go when we are done with it? Many items — like tents and tarps — are almost (but not entirely!) impossible to recycle. Although almost 100% of clothing and other textiles (towels, sheets, etc.) are technically recyclable, only about 14% are. An estimated 92 million tons of textile waste goes into landfills worldwide each year (and 11 million tons in the US alone that’s the weight of about 5.5 million cars!).

This is a waste not only of the valuable recyclable material these items contain, but also of all the energy and resources that went into making them. To give just one example of many, the fashion industry is the one of world’s largest sources of freshwater pollution, and it is the world’s second largest consumer of water (after fruit and vegetable farming).

See below for links to buy used outdoor gear online or check out local thrift shops. A lot of the companies listed below take trade-ins, so if you don’t want to use your gear/clothes until the end of their life, you can trade them in for credit and buy (used if possible!).

And remember, if you do buy new, wear the items for as long as possible! The average garment in the US is worn fewer than 7 times.

And don’t forget, you can always bring your used clothes, shoes, and other textiles to us at Johnson, Stowe, or Worcester sites through our partnership with Helpsy, who will sort, donate, and recycle them as appropriate.

Want to learn more about the environmental impacts of textiles?

Read it:
Saturday Evening Post: Ready-to-Waste: America’s Clothing Crisis
Waste 360: Shining a Light on Retail’s Say-Do Gap
Why Fashion Needs to Be More Sustainable
10 Stunning Fast Fashion Waste Statistics
Textiles: Material-Specific Data

Watch it:
Confronting Shoppers with a Shocking Truth
The Fast Fashion Problem
The High Cost of Our Cheap Fashion
6 Companies Turning Clothing Waste Into Businesses
The Future of Fashion – Made from Mushrooms

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