Choosing recycled furnishings over new ones has always been a great way to save money, but the benefits of recycled furniture go far beyond the financial. Recycling your old furniture and buying used are also good for the environment. Here are three of the biggest impacts recycled furnishings can have on the world around you.
#1. Recycling Furniture Keeps Usable Items Out of Landfills
Every year tens of thousands of usable piece of furniture find their way into landfills. Many of the materials used to manufacture sofas, chairs and other furniture are not biodegradable, so they will be there forever.
To make matters worse, furniture takes up a large amount of space compared to other types of garbage. The plastic cup you throw away may be all but invisible in the local landfill, but your discarded couch will be easy to spot from half an acre away. When you multiply that space by tens of thousands of pieces a year, it is easy to see how large the impact really is.
#2. Recycling Reduces the Amount of Petroleum Products Used
Manufacturing new furniture requires the use of many petroleum products. From the oil used to produce polyester and other synthetic fabrics to the stains and varnish used to paint the wood, petroleum products play a use role in furniture manufacturing.
The best recycled furniture keeps that petroleum use to a minimum. Instead of the five or six gallons of paint and stain needed to produce a new couch, the furniture recycler might use only a gallon or two to strip and restain the wood on an old sofa.
#3. Recycling Furniture Can Reduce Greenhouse Gases
The overuse of greenhouse gases is having a profound impact on the environment. All that carbon dioxide and methane going into the air exacerbates the greenhouse effect, making the world warmer and the weather more unpredictable.
You might not think there is much you can do to prevent that global warming, but individuals can have a significant impact on the health of the planet. Buying used is one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact and your carbon footprint. When you choose a recycled piece of furniture instead of a brand-new one, you help to secure a greener future for yourself and your children.
Greenhouse gases are involved in all phases of the new furniture business, from the original manufacturing plant to the furniture store. The manufacturer uses greenhouse gases to saw the wood, run the machines and get the pieces out the door. The trucks that deliver the beds, sofas and loveseats spew yet more greenhouse gases into the air, making the environmental impact even worse.
By choosing recycled furniture instead, you cut out most of those greenhouse gases. Recycling an existing piece of furniture requires just a fraction of the energy needed to make a new one. Every piece of recycled furniture you buy is one more positive thing you can do for the environment.