All donated items from our collection bins are brought to a Gaia Movement warehouse. When the clothing and shoes are collected, they become a commodity called "credential" or "original" used clothing. The term "credential" refers to clothing and shoes that have been collected from the public, but have not been sorted.
At the Chicago warehouse the clothes is made into 1,000 pound bales. Shoes are put into large bags called "cap sacks" and sold separately. Toys and household goods are put into boxes or cap sacs for resale. At the Portland warehouse collected clothes and shoes are put into the same cap sacs and shipped out to the buyers.
At the end destination the best clothing out of the credential used clothing becomes "Shop A", while other nice clothing is referred to as "Shop B." This clothing is typically sold at thrift stores in the USA, Canada, Europe or Central America. When you go shopping at the thrift store, this is what you see.
The other useable clothing is known as "Mixed Rags." This is clothing that may not be fashionable or may have small tears, stains, or minor imperfections. This clothing is usually exported to developing countries where the resale, repair, and re-styling of second hand clothes supports many small businesses and improves access to quality clothing for low income people.
The U.S. has 3,091 active landfills and over 10,000 old municipal landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, in the "good old days," every town (and many businesses and factories) had its own dump. There are 39,044 general purpose local governments in the United States - 3,043 county governments and 36,001 sub-county general purpose governments (towns & townships). One suspects that there are many more old and abandoned commercial, private, and municipal dumps than the 10,000 estimated by the EPA.
All landfills could require remediation, but particularly landfills built in the last 60 years will require thorough clean-up due to the disposal of highly toxic chemicals manufactured and sold since the 1940's.
In 2014 the Gaia Movement USA sponsored one of our GAIA colleagues to participate in a Climate Compliance Conference and learn more about Global Warming, Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and what does it take to adapt to the rapidly changing world we live in.
The program takes place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and running for 10 years where new climate activist can start in March, July and November. Students join for six months at the time. A small group of Climate Activists together with a big group of people from St. Vincent aim to spearhead that St. Vincent become Climate Compliant by 2021. The topics covered by this program range from Food and Energy Security to Recycling and Pollution.
The Treeplanting Fund supports projects within the Federation Humana People to People that are interested in participating in an action to plant millions of trees There are many good reasons to support such activities, not only due to the role trees have mitigating Global Warming, but also because of the general benefits people and nature get from having trees.
The first project has started in September 2013 and ended in July 2014. During this time in Africa, India, China and in St. Vincent activists mobilized the local community to grow and plant seedlings into their community and vulnerable deforested areas to bring back the original vegetation destroyed by excessive farming, grazing and firewood harvesting.
As a result we have planted in total of 8,016,000 trees in Belize, Botswana, Brazil, China, DR Congo, Guinea Bissau, India, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, St. Vincent, Zambia and Zimbabwe.