Help More than the Environment by Recycling your Furniture
Did you know that nearly 4 million sofas are dumped into US landfills every year? This is a huge waste of materials, and really bad for the environment. Dumping furniture means that more has to be built from scratch – using up more resources like trees and adding pollution to the environment.
It is also wasteful, as a lot of these items could be recycled or re-used, either by cleaning and repairing them or taking them apart and re-purposing the materials.
Before getting rid of furniture, work out if you really need to throw it out or if you can give it a second chance. For example, you could contact local artists and “upcyclers” to see if they can give it a makeover or “re-purpose” it. This involves transforming old and worn out items and giving them a new lease of life, either by painting them and personalising them or by using parts to create something new. You can even try this yourself. Take a piece of oak furniture and sand it and paint it. You could stick a design onto it or try some stencilling to create something new and unique to you.
The recycled furniture movement is growing. With many families feeling the squeeze financially, buying new furniture is not an option for a lot of people. Local companies have popped up over the past few years which take old furniture items and recycle the materials to create something new and affordable. Sometimes they will simply clean up and repair unwanted pieces and find them a new home, or give them to charity.
Using furniture recyclers is a particularly good idea for businesses getting rid of old office chairs or desks, as it adds to your “green” credentials to say that you have recycled these big items.
If you get rid of furniture for a bit of a change or if it is because you need new office furniture, think about the impact on the environment, but also on society. You might not want these items, but a struggling family or a charity might be really grateful for them. Similarly, when choosing new furniture for your home or office look at sustainable options such as reclaimed or antique wood which don’t involve any new trees being cut down, or furniture from sustainable sources.
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