Did you know that 1 out of every 7 canned goods donated to U.S charities gets thrown out? It’s not because food isn’t needed, it’s because food drives and can donations have often been excuses for people to clear out their pantry of anything expired or undesirable.
But if you wouldn’t eat it, why should they? Anything passed the expiration date is tossed, and usually into a landfill. If possible, the best thing to do is compost the food inside and reuse or recycle its packaging.
So if it’s still within the expiration date, donate away! Wasted food is wasted energy.
Dqay 4 on the 12 Days of Wastefulness is about giving back to the community and to those in need.
We’ve compiled a list of ways you can donate your time, get reuse out of unnecessary items in your house, and other ways to contribute. Because time spent helping others is never wasted.
Speaking of waste, to ensure your thoughtfulness is actually useful, don’t assume any one charitable organization is in need of anything specific. Make the effort to reach out to groups in your community and ask them what they need.
Consider homeless shelters, assisted living programs, or other community based programs? A quick google search will show you who is what programs are nearby. Give them a call, see how you can contribute. They may be in need of gently-used coats or other warm items.
The Humane Society in Silicon Valley is always taking donations of towels, fleece blankets, unopened bags of dog/cat food and treats, and even used cars. Unfortunately, what they do not need is shredded paper, clothes, pillows, comforters, or fitted sheets, things that often get dumped in their donation bins and end up either in landfill, or requiring one of the volunteers to lug it to another donation site.
Some animal shelters CAN take open bags of dog food, call a few places.
Again, time helping others is never wasted. Donating time to soup kitchens this cold time of year makes a big difference. This is also an opportunity to provide people with fresh fruit and vegetables, if possible, and avoid some packaged, processed food.