11 Dec Save the Planet! (One Piece of Gently-Used Furniture, etc. at a Time)
It doesn’t take a grand gesture to do your part to save the environment. You don’t have to attend a rally or stage a protest to get on the eco-friendly bandwagon. In fact, in one fell swoop, you can go green, reduce your carbon footprint, help stop global warming, and make a positive impact in your corner of the world. It happens every time you donate or purchase donated furniture or other cool stuff, such as building materials, furniture, cabinets, appliances, flooring, and bathroom fixtures, in good, reusable condition.
Saving the Planet with Donated Goods
We’ve shared all kinds of ideas and tips on ways to reuse and repurpose used furniture and household goods, how to update your kitchen for a healthier lifestyle, and home remodeling ideas. If you’ve taken the plunge and done any or all of these things, or are planning to, what are you doing with your used furniture or other household goods? The correct answer, of course, is that you’re donating them to Re-Store Warehouse! If you live in Cumberland or portions of Hoke, Harnett, Lee, and Sampson Counties, we will even pick up your donations at no charge!
Disposal Options: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Have you ever stopped to think about where your discarded furniture or used bathroom fixtures end up when you place it on the curb on trash day, call for a special pick-up, or have a junk removal service haul them away? It likely ends up in one of these situations, neither of them good for the environment.
Frequently furniture or used bathroom or kitchen fixtures, categorized as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), that’s discarded rather than donated end up in landfills, where it will remain unless all of the components are biodegradable. Landfills are detrimental to the environment, causing land loss, methane emissions (a greenhouse gas) to the atmosphere, and potentially leaching hazardous materials into groundwater.
Another disposal option sometimes used, when applicable, is combustion. Incineration of MSW generates various pollutants (CO2, heavy metals, dioxins, particulates) that contribute to climate change, smog, acidification, asthma, and human health impacts (asthma and heart and nervous system damage).
An excellent solution, of course, is to donate the items. Your donations can do a lot of good right in your community.
- Becoming Treasure
Your gently-used furniture can be the perfect option for a neighbor who needs affordable furniture to create a home. That kitchen faucet in usable condition can be just the ticket to fix the leaky one for someone who doesn’t have the funds to hire a plumber or buy a new one. Whether it’s a neighbor in need or a seasoned do-it-yourselfer, your donations fill a home instead of a landfill.
- Financial Profits to Local Charities
Re-Store Warehouse re-sells your donations at reasonable prices and donates 100 percent of the net resale profits to local organizations that help at-risk kids, the poor, and the homeless of Cumberland County. A win-win!
Saving the Planet by Purchasing Donated Goods
Purchasing donated furniture and household goods is a great way to save money and furnish your home with unique pieces. What you may not know is that buying new furniture and materials also has a negative environmental impact. Not to disparage the furniture industry, but it’s one of the most polluting, least sustainable industries on the planet. Buying or repurposing used furniture offers the following benefits:
- Less wasteful
Americans discard more than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings each year, and 80 percent of it ends up in the landfill.
- Help prevent deforestation
Buying new items made from wood means cutting down trees. Deforestation contributes to biodiversity loss, soil erosion, and 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- Limits plastic production
The growing global plastic furniture market size was valued at 11.9 billion in 2018. Plastic is made from fossil fuels and isn’t biodegradable. More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans each year, harming ecosystems, animals, and humans.
- Reduce carbon emissions
The United States was the leading importer of furniture in the world in 2018. Buying locally used furniture or repurposing an item you already have will lower your carbon footprint.
Reduce, reuse, recycle, one of the best-known environmental mantras, perfectly captures the beauty of donating your gently-used treasures to thrift stores and shopping there to fill your home with new gems!