The recycling movement has been around for decades. What started as cheeky campaigns and “take it back” ads have turned into a veritable movement for this country. It’s no longer a fad that people care for the earth, they do, and they show it by paying for recycle bins for their homes and businesses, and even composting at home — a different way to recycle.
Another way to recycle has been taking silent momentum: furniture restoration. A complete 180 from taking soda cans to the green or blue bins, furniture restoration is an evolution in the methods of recycling. Why? Because it still helps the planet. It still gives back to the earth and, most excitingly, it looks beautiful and makes people money.
It’s been proven that when furniture is restored, the environment suffers less. How so? Sources show that it takes just about 1000 times more carbon dioxide to create new furniture than to restore it. Thus, restoring furniture helps make our carbon footprint less impactful on our planet.
Landfills are filled with furniture waste. Tons and tons of unused wood and fabric go to waste every day. From couches to chairs and even bedframes, these items can be spotted easily in any landfill because of their sheer size. Knowing that a tree makes a few bunches of paper, imagine what it takes to make a sofa, easy chair or a divan. Restoration helps cut back on the landfill upholstery explosion, and:
- Decreases landfill waste and space
- Decreases the amount of burnt trash, therefore creating more breathable oxygen
- Decreases the amount of cut trees for new furniture construction
Furniture restoration is oftentimes less expensive than buying new furniture, insofar that people don’t have to spend the money for that new set when they already have one they can restore. It’s important to have an idea of the desired outcome and from there, the right professionals will help get the right fabric, the right upholstery staple gun and will have the furniture ready in no time.
Additionally, new furniture tends to depreciate faster, leaving the need for yet another set of furniture to be purchased. With furniture restoration, companies have been able to elongate the life of solid wood furniture by approximately three times, by simply refurbishing it.
Getting the right fabric also has an impact on our carbon footprint. Organic fabrics are better for the human body and the environment as they undergo a more natural process without any additives or detergents.
Furthermore, the amount of automobile gasoline saved not having to shop around for new furniture is priceless. There’s no need to jump in the car and spend all day Saturday depleting gas. The right piece is already at home waiting to be restored.
If there was no gasoline spent, this means the furniture was likely shipped. The amount of plastic and carton used to commercially wrap a piece of furniture is massive. Restoring furniture wouldn’t require shipping since, again, it’s waiting at home.
Even the furniture hidden in the basement, like that analog TV armoire or that old baby crib, still has a purpose. If not as its original intent, as pure-wood shelving, a night stand or a different project. The internet is now a wealth of ideas for restoration. Letting it decay in the basement will eventually earn it a place in the aforementioned landfills.
No matter what we call it: restoration, refurbishing or recycling, the repurposing of our older assets helps our environment and, in a way, restores our planet. With furniture, we have the chance to make a bigger impact on our carbon footprint as the amount of resources used in making it is large. We seem to dispose of these natural resources much too easily and mindlessly. The more conscious we are of restoring our assets, the more we help our planet.