News & Events

4/22/13 — Goodwill encourages consumers to harness the environmental power of reusing goods

Earth Day is Donate Day
Goodwill encourages consumers to harness the environmental power of reusing goods

As we celebrate the 43rd annual Earth Day today, the environmental movement has become an increasingly complex world of climate change, carbon offsets, and emissions guidelines. While these big-picture issues can often seem far removed from everyday life, Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan encourages consumers to remember the widespread impact from the simple act of donating goods.

 For over forty years, Goodwill® Industries of Northern Michigan has been an entrepreneurial leader, environmental pioneer and social innovator of the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice. In Northern Michigan alone Goodwill diverts more than 3.8 million of pounds of clothing, household goods, cardboard, metal and other materials every year from landfills by recovering the value in people’s unwanted material goods; and in the process, creating job-training opportunities, shelter and programs that help people overcome barriers to independence.

Through the sale of gently used items Goodwill was able to provide over 117,000 services to 8,468 disabled and disadvantaged individuals and families in our communities. Goodwill’s environment initiatives don’t stop with the retail stores, the Paperworks Studio program makes beautiful handmade cards from recycled materials and the Food Rescue program collected and delivered 959,325lbs. of soon to expire perishable food that would have previously headed to the landfills to area food pantries, shelters and community meal programs.

In addition, Goodwill and Dell’s free computer recycling program, Dell Reconnect, allow people to make a donation knowing it’s good for people and the planet. Dell Reconnect program allows people to simply drop off used computer equipment (any brand, and in any condition) at the Goodwill Donation Centers. Staff will inspect the equipment and either reuse, refurbish or recycle it. More than 253 million pounds of computer electronics have been responsibly recycled nationally since the partnership began in 2004.

In 2010, Goodwill launched the Donate Movement, a corporate social responsibility platform and public awareness movement that encourages consumers to think of donating used goods as just as essential to environmental responsibility as recycling paper and plastics. Via the Donate Movement microsite (, users can calculate the social impact of their own clothing and household item donations, while a new feature on the site tracks how many pounds of usable goods Goodwill has diverted from landfills since January 2012—currently totaling more than three billion.

“With Earth Day now four decades old, more Americans than ever before are concerned about environmental issues,” said Cecil McNally, Executive Director. “Yet it is easy to lose track of the ways that one person can make a difference. For more than a century, Goodwill has linked protecting the environment to helping people earn paychecks, support their families and strengthen their communities.

Today, we think about how the choices we make will affect our children and the world they grow up. Sometimes it is the simplest choices like donating to Goodwill can make a meaningful impact on our community and environment.”

Additional resources: 

Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan Retail and Donation Centers are open 7 days a week.

Newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter for updates and volunteer opportunities!

Browse, Bid, Buy -- Do Good!

Shop Now

Did you know you can shop online? We have unique items everday.

Shop Now