The massive consumption of cheap furniture has become a huge environmental problem. According to data from the European Environmental Bureau around 10.5 million tons of furniture end up in the garbage. Unfortunately, Fast furniture is a trend that is here to stay.
Fast furniture offers low-cost pieces that are not as durable or resistant as the more expensive ones, but they are affordable and have acceptable quality. In addition, if one of these items breaks, you can replace without spending a huge amount of money.
The furniture industry is very polluting
The furniture industry produces a lot of waste. This is mostly disposed of in landfills or incinerated and consists of materials such as wood, metal, foam, plastic, and glass. Much of this waste is made up of cheap, disposable furniture.
Consumers prefer to buy new furniture rather than repair the pieces. Also, demand for second-hand furniture and recycled products is low, as is the investment by companies in the management and collection of used items. This is why recycling is uncommon and reusing is restricted to small-scale, private, or social purposes.
The issue is not only with the waste made by cheap furniture but also in the manufacturing process of wood furniture. The varnishes and dyes with organic solvents used in their manufacture generate atmospheric emissions. It also generates a lot of waste in the form of bark, sawdust, wood chips, and offcuts
However, especially among young people, green awareness is slowly awakening. More and more people are looking for eco-friendly alternatives that reduce their overall impact on the environment. Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives for you to do your part and reduce the waste produced by furniture.
The eco-friendly alternatives
There are ways to reduce the waste produced by furniture: the first option is to not buy fast furniture. This can be hard, especially if you do not have money to buy more expensive furniture. If this is the case, renting furniture or building your own using recycled material can be great alternatives.
Renting is better than buying cheap disposable furniture. You can use the furniture as long as you need it and then return it when you do not need it anymore. Rental companies are always repairing and recycling furniture and this way they extend the lifetime of the furniture. You can have great-quality furniture at a competitive price, and know you are choosing the sustainablke option.
If you want to have your own furniture, you can also build it by yourself with recycled materials such as wooden boxes, chairs, tires, pallets, bed bases, etc. If you use your creativity you can make amazing, very durable pieces by spending little money.
If your budget is a little larger you can buy sustainable furniture. They are generally handmade with organic, non-toxic, recyclable materials such as cardboard or wood. These materials are generally locally sourced, and responsibly harvested. Wood with good management of natural forests is recyclable and biodegradable.