Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Antique!

We have all heard the phrase before, whether it was in our youth or adult years, our society has turned towards more sustainable living and becoming aware of our global footprint. Some people choose different ways to contribute such as going paperless when it comes to their monthly statements and bills, others separate all of their waste and recycle. It has also become increasingly popular for families to go completely green and use waste free products only. Everyone has their own way of contributing to the reduction of waste and essentially reducing our environmental impact.

The production and distribution of goods has an irreversible effect on our environment, ecosystems and our communities that sometimes goes unnoticed. By obtaining raw materials and energy from nature to procure our goods, we are depleting resources that are not entirely renewable. This impacts wildlife and vegetation and disrupts the cycle, causing resources to be depleted even faster. Not to mention pollution and poor working conditions created by factories all over the world. It’s no surprise that we all have to do our part, big or small, to influence change.

That’s where we come in. The idea of upcycling and repurposing antique and vintage items has grown exponentially in recent years and we can only hope that trend will continue. By choosing to purchase previously loved items, whether it be clothing, furniture, décor, etc, you can ensure a reduction in landfill waste, carbon emissions, all while preserving history for generations to come. Antique furnishings were handcrafted out of quality sourced materials and can last upwards of hundreds of years where as new contemporary or modern pieces are made with synthetic materials and intended for a 15-20-year lifespan. According to researchers, the annual emissions of purchasing new over an antique can be as much as 16 times higher. Now multiply that by all the consumers in just your community alone, and the impact is astronomical. It can be difficult to look beyond and see the bigger picture, but it’s the little things that can make big things happen!

Sometimes, items can be repurposed and rejuvenated into a different function. Typically we strive to preserve the integrity of antiques, but occasionally that is not possible due to wear or improper care over the years. But that does not mean that it is now trash. With a couple of coats of paint or stain and some TLC, life can be brought back to old once discarded items. For example, Iron Crow has repurposed this old armoire into a coffee station for our staff and it is now a fresh and innovative piece that has many more years left.

If you are unsure how to add an antique piece to your modern home look no further, our next topic will help you navigate some interior design questions.