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How shopping can help save the planet

13 October 2009

NCi looks at how charity shops are helping in the quest to stop climate change and associated problems.

Global warming and climate change are never too far away from the front pages of our newspapers and our television screens. When people used to talk about global warming visions of melting polar ice caps, warmer winters and hotter summers came to mind.

If recent years are anything to go by though, perhaps climate change is a more appropriate term as long hot summers in certain parts of the world seem to have been replaced with rain, snow and other non seasonal weather. As Al Gore reported in his documentary about global warming, 'An Inconvenient Truth', this is one problem that simply is not going to go away.

Gores' documentary painted a picture of extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced and whilst his views are not universally accepted, most right minded people would accept that as a global community we have to start taking steps to change our ways.

One part of society that is making strides to help the planet in their own way is the charity sector and specifically charity shops. The main way charity shops help out is that they sell mainly second hand goods that otherwise may have been thrown away and ended up in a local land fill site. Charities and charity shops make sure clothing and other items that are donated to them are resold or in cases where this is not feasible, recycled.

In fact, long before home owners really embraced the concept of recycling, charity shops have been recycling clothes, textiles and other items in vast volumes for years. In fact in the UK alone, charity shops account for around thirty percent of the entire textile recycling that is carried out.

Charity shops and volunteers in charity shops provide sterling work that gives us a home for unwanted goods that others, at home and abroad, would be happy to buy or receive. This ability to provide a second life to many items results in less land fill, lower CO2 emissions and massive help with governments across the worlds ambitious targets to cut CO2 usage.

So the next time you are having a clear out at home, consider not only the fact that your rubbish could be useful to someone else but that also by looking to your local charity shop first, you could be helping in some small way save the planet. Global warming is a fact of life but if each of us follows the fine example set by charity shops, we could go some way to helping save the world in which we live.

NCi are charity shop insurance specialists and for details of their Charity Insurance facilities or to get a charity shop insurance quote simply visit the UK Charity Insurance Brokers' website.

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Northern Counties Insurance Brokers

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