Another year is upon us, what are your resolutions? How about Making The World A Better Place? Well, recycling wood may be a great start!. We all know by now that using wood instead of plastics offers many benefits to our lives, and the environment. Old news, right? Yet still we see the 'cheap' furniture industry flourishing and that furniture which are so easily damaged thrown away with the rubbish only a short while later. We have all been tempted by the affordable prices and have purchased cheap furniture. But this year, let's think a little about how much we are really saving! Shouldn't we consider the recycled-furniture option, instead?
Solid furniture can be disassembled and once again re-purposed . Recycling wood is about giving a second life to materials already harvested, preventing unnecessary tree cutting and reducing waste. Recycling wood and furniture is a money-saving trend we should all embrace. It all starts with the purchase of good quality furniture in the first place, in fact good quality wooden furniture lasts a long time eventually diminishing the amount of rubbish added to the environment. Solid wooden furniture can further down the track be re-vamped for a second life with a lick of paint, a new stain or new handles when our taste changes. Finally, when the piece is too old to salvage, or the damage to it is irreparable, its precious wood is there to be re-purposed.
It is exciting to see what can be done with pre-loved wood. See below a few great ideas we could easily apply to our backyard, for example this rustic look.
Too easily overlooked old fences and wood pallets offer us precious building wood.
You can build your own! Look around you, grab ideas, be creative; the only limit is your imagination. But if handiwork is not your strength then you can do a little searching and purchase well made recycled furniture from those that do it best. Shabby Chick anyone?
But where does recycled wood come from? Everywhere! "Recycled wood is salvaged from demolished houses, old buildings, sheds, factories, warehouses, wharves, boats and other wood products. It is available from specialist wood suppliers, secondhand building material outlets, larger demolition companies and demolition sites." [makeitwood.org]
Look around for inspiration: alleyway off Darby St, Newcastle NSW.
As listed on makeitwood.org there are many benefits from using responsibly sourced wood:
Wood is naturally beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.
Exposure to wooden furniture and fittings has real and measurable health and wellbeing benefits. It helps lower heart rate and stress responses and encourages greater interaction between people.
Wood is very strong structurally and is a durable material for both homes and commercial buildings. When properly looked after it can last hundreds of years.
Wood itself is a natural insulator due to air pockets within its cellular structure.
Wood construction is fast and efficient.
To effectively tackle climate change we must remove carbon from the atmosphere as well as reduce new carbon emissions into the atmosphere. As trees grow, they take carbon out of the atmosphere, as well as creating shade and habitats for our native animals and insects.
OK, recycled wood furniture may not be to everyone's taste, but there are so many talented craftspeople making beautiful bespoke pieces, that there must definitely be something for any of our tastes. From rustic to high-end and gallery looks, re-purposing unwanted furniture is fun and a sensible choice for all of our future purchases. The world's problems may not be solved overnight, but if we all give it a try, one little step at the time we can make a difference. Recycling is an easy and affordable way for us all to contribute to a greater issue. Are you willing to give it a go?
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James Treble has more than 25 years of experience in the Building Industry and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from. Interior Design For Profit is now available online.