Why is Antique Furniture Better for the Environment?
Why is Antique Furniture Better for the Environment?
As climate change becomes a bigger and bigger problem for our society, it is more important than ever to be more eco-friendly. To overcome this issue, all of us must be involved as much as we can. It seems impossible for an individual to right the climate change, but you would be surprised how much impact you can actually have. From saving energy on a daily basis to using environmentally friendly items, the list of possible methods is almost unlimited.
Using sustainable antique furniture can be one of the best ways to go green and do your fair share to save our planet. In this article, we will share with you the impact the furniture industry has on the climate and what can you do to be more sustainable.
The truth about the modern furniture industry
From 2005 the annual expenditure on furniture has increased by 28.5% in the UK. It is most likely that this trend will not change anytime soon. On its own, purchasing furniture is not a problematic topic. However, the consumerist culture that pushes us to buy furniture and then changes it every couple of years has very negative consequences.
North London Waste Society has reported that only in the UK 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded annually. This is due to the fast furniture industry that introduces new products several times a year. The fast furniture companies consume a lot of energy and raw materials in the production process. This eventually leads to high Carbon Dioxide emissions.
According to Earthsight’s 18-month-long investigation, in 2019 IKEA alone used 21 million cubic meters of logs to make its products. Furthermore, the investigation questions whether the furniture materials were extracted legally. Research showed illegal logging in Ukrainian forests, home to endangered species.
The estimated carbon footprint for furniture
On average, newly produced furniture has a 16 times higher carbon footprint than antique and sustainable furniture. The study “Benchmarking carbon footprints of furniture products” estimated the carbon footprint for most popular furniture items. The estimated average carbon footprint for an armchair is 43 kgCO2e while the same index for a sofa gets as high as 90 kgCO2e.
If you are wondering what can you do to decrease your carbon footprint, we have a solution for you. Consider purchasing sustainable furniture for your home - whether it's a vintage bookcase for your living room, a Victorian mirror for your hallway, or retro office furniture to make a statement.
Why is antique furniture sustainable?
There are a lot of reasons why antique furniture is environmentally friendly and more sustainable than modern furniture.
Less Carbon Footprint
Research has shown that on average, second-hand antique furniture has 16 times less carbon footprint than newly-produced one.
Reduced consumption of imported goods
Most old furniture whether retro or vintage can be found locally. Therefore, you can reduce the energy used for freight movement and decrease ocean spills. Buying old and locally produced goods is an environmentally friendly decision. Additionally, you can find unique items in antique furniture stores. Where else you could find Edwardian bedroom furniture or antique glassware.
Vintage home furniture was made with high-quality wood which is not largely available nowadays. Hence, when you buy antique furniture, you get the quality that is not accessible in the fast furniture market. Additionally, when you buy retro furniture you get better quality at less price. Higher quality means fewer damages and decreased need for changing furniture frequently. In the end, antique furniture is a win-win for you and the environment.
On average, antique furniture is made of higher quality materials. Because of the quality, old furniture has a longer lifespan. In an antique furniture store, you can get a mahogany chest of drawers that will last you forever.
Deforestation is one of the biggest causes of climate change. Unfortunately, fast furniture companies are “greatly contributing” to deforestation. Fast furniture is affordable because it is produced in large quantities. Companies produce more so that each item costs less. This mindset can be changed if you decrease the consumption of fast furniture and replace it with sustainable, second-hand options. In the end, with this approach, we can slow down deforestation.
Celebrate Earth Day by making greener choices
Every year, on 22 April, the world celebrates Earth Day. Most of us turn off lights and decrease energy consumption for an hour which actually has a meaningful impact. However, this is not enough anymore. We have to make green choices every single day to contribute to saving our planet.
You can celebrate Earth Day by adopting new, sustainable behaviours. In terms of furniture, you can start reusing your old items. Why not refurbish a vintage retro table lamp and give it a new life? Or say no to buying newly produced furniture? These small decisions can change a lot. You just have to start!
The advantages of choosing antique and vintage furniture
We have established that buying antique furniture is a green and eco-friendly decision. But it also comes with other important perks:
- Purchasing old furniture is an investment. A lot of vintage and retro items are extremely rare and their value increases over time. If you sell the antique furniture later you can get a return on investment. Additionally, you will be promoting a circular economy which plays a crucial role in sustainability.
- Antique and vintage furniture items are very rare and create a unique design.
- Vintage furniture is cost-effective and affordable.
- A lot of vintage coffee tables and bookcases have a timeless look. Having furniture that will always be in style can be appealing in itself!
Antique furniture delivers sustainability, uniqueness, and character. While we are trying to fight climate change, using antique furniture can be a conscious choice that improves your daily life and contributes to a better future for us all.