Pretty much everyone has seen pieces of furniture or other unwanted items tossed out to the curb to be picked up and escorted to the landfill.
Cleaning and periodically ridding your own space of unused things can be a needed renewal, but before you throw anything out you may want to think about giving it a second life.
The Environmental Protection Agency stated that the amount of furniture that is tossed out annually in the U.S. alone is the equivalent of 3 million tons.
In 2005, nearly 8.8 million tons of furniture relocated to U.S. landfills. The Environmental Resources Management claims that the U.K. generates around 7.5 million tons of wood waste, including furniture. Reportedly, approximately only 16-20% of this is being recycled or salvaged in some way. Considering furniture waste on a worldwide scale can be overwhelming.
Repurposing is beneficial for everyone involved. If you are no longer in need of an item, chances are someone else probably is.
Many places can make great use of discarded furniture like schools, after school programs, small businesses and community shelters. Check local county offices for contribution ideas, too. Additionally, look for local nonprofit organizations that are networked to donate goods to services in need.
There are a number of merchants who offer upcycled items, too. Whether it is from an antique store, rummage sale, goodwill or an online retailer, the market for repurposed items is growing.
Another way to reuse furniture is to see it in a different way.
Giving a piece a new look with paint or custom details is a fun and easy fix for old items and materials.
The environmental paybacks of reusing furniture alone are promising. Every piece that can be revamped and reclaimed is another object that does not end up in a landfill, and is one less need to come up with the resources to make a replacement.
To find donation and drop off sites do a search for specific items and locations at Earth911.
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