Trash Philanthropy

By Liesl Clark

Contribute a few dollars to our Trash Philanthropy mission and make a mountain of difference Nepal.

Sherpa Child in Khumbu, Nepal. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sherpa Child in Khumbu, Nepal. Photo © Liesl Clark

Can you really help other people with your trash?

Absolutely. We use the word “trash” to denote anything headed to the landfill or incinerator, items people want to discard because that’s the simplest thing to do. Unwanted clothing, books, and office supplies are trash, excess produce in the garden that goes to seed might be trash, shoes discarded at a shoe store because you’ve bought new ones are trash, a ziploc bag with a few crumbs in it for some people is considered trash, gloves on the side of the road for many is trash.

Trash? This glove can help protect a rag picker in Kathmandu from infection. Photo © Finn Clark

Trash? This glove can help protect a rag picker in Kathmandu from infection. Photo © Finn Clark

We like to see most things as resources, not trash, and have shifted our view dramatically to recognize the beauty and use of most things deemed “trash.” We’ve also seen that trash through the eyes of people who could really use it, and it hurts to see useful things thrown away.

Discarded children's books bring literacy to the Himalayas. Photo © Liesl Clark

Discarded children’s books bring literacy to the Himalayas. Photo © Liesl Clark

This is where our trash philanthropy comes in. We like to connect things that are en route to the landfill, to people who could really use them. Turning trash backwards and breathing new life into it brings inexplicable joy. When you’ve done it a few times, you’ll see what we mean. It not only helps another human, but it reduces the stresses upon our planet, too.

The North Face Store in Downtown Seattle donates used trekking shoes to go to Nepal. Photo © Liesl Clark

The North Face Store in Downtown Seattle donates used trekking shoes to go to Nepal. Photo © Liesl Clark

If we kept more items in circulation, less energy would go into producing redundant items, and if we reuse more and distribute our unwanted items to those who want them, we reduce our overall waste on the planet.

Turning Trash Backwards Means Keeping Fragile Environments Like This Trash-Free. Photo © Liesl Clark

Turning Trash Backwards Means Keeping Fragile Environments Trash-Free. Photo © Liesl Clark

How can you help with our mission? Donate to our cause, moving unwanted goods into the hands of those who need them while also bringing relief to the garbage-choked highest watersheds of the world. Your donations contribute to the following initiatives:

1) Carrying unwanted and recovered children’s books on the backs of yaks, donkeys, horses and porters up to the most remote villages in the Himalaya to help increase literacy there at our Magic Yeti Children’s Libraries.

2) Distributing garden and work gloves recovered from our roadsides to the rag pickers of Kathmandu. Many are illiterate children at high risk of infection from their working conditions. We call this project Garden Glove Love.

3) Gifting well-made shoes and clothing that were discards yet still have life in them to the villagers living in the highest watersheds. Countless poorly-made shoes and clothes quickly end up discarded outside of the villages, adding to the piles of rubbish. This initiative is called Trash Forwards and we’re receiving shoes from The North Face.

4) Donating thrown-out yet perfectly usable pencils, pens, office and art supplies to the children’s libraries we’ve established in the highest Himalaya.

5) Contributing unwanted laptops to our Magic Yeti Children’s Libraries, to aid in bridging the digital divide between the haves and have nots. Your old laptop can make a huge difference to children half the world away.

6) Rescued toys and stuffed animals thrown in a dumpster are pulled out and given to children in Nepal.

7) Recovering batteries, CFL light bulbs, and plastics from the world’s highest watersheds to protect local drinking water and everyone living downstream. We carry these toxic items downhill in the same duffel bags that carried the books, gloves, writing supplies, laptops, and toys uphill.

Please help us continue to turn trash backwards out of our dumpsters, off our roadsides, away from our landfills, and out of our fragile environments by donating today!

How else can you help? By using our app, finding reduce, reuse, recycle solutions for your stuff and then marking that you “Did It” by hitting the Did It button, we can gauge the behaviors that we’re changing and show our future funders that inspiring people to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink is one of the best ways to handle the global waste crisis.

By clicking on the "Did It" button for any individual solution, you help us do more good.

By clicking on the “Did It” button for any individual solution, you help us do more good.

By indicating that you “Did It,” did some good with your stuff, we get further funding to do our own good. Please visit our Trash Backwards app and find some great reduce, reuse and recycle ideas to try!

Click Through To Start Reducing Your Impact by Using The Trash Backwards App

Click Through To Start Reducing Your Impact by Using The Trash Backwards App

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Categories: Trash Philanthropy, Trash Pile - All Our Stuff

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