HOW UPCYCLING IS KIND TO MOTHER NATURE
One of the main values behind Upcycling furniture has always been how environmentally beneficial it is. However, over the last few years with the social, political & educational awareness around Climate Change, everyone (well, almost everyone) has wanted to do their own bit to contribute, however big or small, to genuinely make an impact on making our planet a greener place to live. We don’t all have to be a David Attenborough or a Greta Thunberg but we can all make a difference to the world we live in by whatever means we feel is appropriate & to what resonates with us personally. For some that’s going vegan, for others it’s reducing their use of single use plastics or it’s buying an electric car rather than a diesel. Whatever rocks your boat, we all have different approaches – it's about choosing what works for you!
For me, I fell in love with upcycling furniture almost by accident. We moved into our first house a few years back & the bulk of our money went on a new kitchen so the rest of the house was on budget. So, to save a few pretty pennies we decided to upcycle a few pieces & before I knew it I was hooked. I’ll be honest, to start with it didn’t really cross my mind that it was eco-friendly; I just did it because I enjoyed it & loved the creativity. But as time has gone on & with the growth of social awareness around Climate Change, it really dawned on me that there are so many environmental benefits to Upcycling that it has really fuelled my passion for the trade even more.
In support of our ‘How to be Kind to Mother Nature’ campaign, here are a few ways that Upcycling really does have a positive impact on the environment.
UPCYCLING IN GENERAL – AT WHATEVER CAPACITY!
The long & short of it is, Upcycling is essentially recycling, reusing & reinventing with the addition of design to make beautifully unique pieces. If we can add value & desirability to pieces, it could save a whole lot of waste. Ultimately, it can make unwanted items – wanted!
SAVING MATERIALS FROM GOING TO LANDFILL
As we discussed in our previous blog ‘Why Choose Upcycled Furniture’, 9 million tons of furniture is sent to the landfill every year - 9 million tons! 22 million pieces of furniture is thrown out each year in the UK alone. With every item that goes to landfill, due to the lack of oxygen underground, it will all slowly decompose which will produce methane gas & greenhouse gases which contribute to Global Warming. For every ton of discarded waste that is used again, 20 tons of carbon dioxide is prevented from entering the atmosphere.
If (like me) a lot of the sciencey facts & figures can go straight over your head, which might make you switch off from what I’m saying, just think of it in simple terms – THIS IS A LOT OF WASTE. If we can save items from going to waste by upcycling as well as recycling, it will have an even greater impact on our environment.
REDUCING MATERIALS GOING TO LANDFILL
In some cases, there are some things that really are beyond repair. But that doesn’t mean the whole thing should be disposed of. We could save reusable materials which will reduce the amount of wastage being sent to landfill. For example, I came across a Welsh Dresser about to be disposed of because the upper dresser section was absolutely battered. But that doesn’t mean the whole piece should be disposed of, so I repurposed it to be used as a sideboard as the main body was still in great condition even though it was around 50 years old.
The same principle can be applied to so many creative reuses. From small projects such making candle holders from bottles, making a display shelving unit from a broken guitar or making a display feature with drawers; to bigger projects such as creating a headboard for a bed out of reclaimed wood, making lamps out of the weird & wonderful. It’s about finding a creative output that works for you that in turn, is also being Kind to Mother Nature.
Of all materials that are recycled, only 5% of them are wood. That’s only 2% more than plastic yet wood is one of the most eco-friendly materials around. We’re all aware that we should reduce our use of plastics due to the impact it is having on our environment, which I am 100% in full support of. Although wood doesn’t have such a negative eco-impact compared to plastic, it is such a versatile material to either upcycle, restore or reuse that we can be doing so much more with what we have to save even more from going to waste.
DOING YOUR BIT FOR MOTHER NATURE FEELS GOOD, DOESN’T IT?!
Whether you buy an upcycled piece or have a go at upcycling yourself, nothing beats that feeling knowing that you have done something that is good for the environment. Sure, it’s not sailing across the Atlantic or venturing 7 miles deep into the Pacific Ocean for scientific investigations…but it is still being Kind to Our Mother Nature.
We would love you to join the conversation & support our ‘How to be Kind to Mother Nature’ campaign by following the story on our social media channels or commenting below.