When we think of recycling, our minds often go straight to the recycling bin in our back yard and all of the household waste we are able to fill it with: cardboard, bottles, paper, plastics and so on. But a growing trend that often goes missed is recycling furniture. Recycling is one of the most popular ways for people to be kinder to the environment, so why stop at ‘rubbish’? A recent study from an environmental report said that furniture was the least upcycled item in households. What’s strange about that is that there are many ways to upcycle unwanted furniture, and it can lead to some beautiful, money-saving and eco-friendly results.
When we can’t upcycle, our unused items and waste goes to landfill. So, it seems a bit of a no-brainer that we would look to upcycle in as many ways as we can. The simple answer to, should we upcycle our home furniture?’ is, yes – but there are different ways of going about it.
For example, we can upcycle unwanted furniture such as desks, beds, chairs, sofas, cabinets and even white goods by donating them to a charity (some of whom even collect free of charge), as long as they are in a usable condition. Not only is this giving to a good cause, it is allowing others to buy decent or upcycled furniture at a reasonable cost, and on a budget. So, it avoids landfill and does a little good at the same time.
Speaking of upcycled furniture – this is actually another brilliant way to ‘upcycle’. Upcycling is very ‘on-trend’ at the moment, and there’s good reason. Upcycled furniture is fashionable, beautiful and very eco-friendly. If you’re a bit of a DIY-fixer-upper sort of person, you can even stand to make a little money by upcycling and selling fully refreshed or refurbished items that are currently sought after. The great thing about upcycling is that it also creates unique and sometimes quirky items that are fun, desirable and still functional.
If you’re looking for a faster option, however, you don’t just have to go straight to the local tip or call for a council collection. Again, often – these options will end up with your old furniture in landfill. There are alternatives to a council collection. Some companies run on eco-friendly procedures and will collect your unwanted items for a fee, just as the council would – but their aim is to upcycle on your behalf.
So, there are many options and many benefits that come along with deciding to upcycle household furniture. The more we consider our impact on the environment, the more upcycle-savvy we become, and recycling furniture does good – not only for the environment – bit for other people too. So, it’s win, win.