It’s hard to explain my commitment to saving furniture from landfills and reducing waste. See what just happened? I said ‘landfill’, and you probably checked out a little, right? It happens to me all the time. So, I’m going to use an analogy everyone loves: puppies.
I liken the idea of buying brand new, showroom furniture with buying designer dogs from backyard breeders. For my non-pet owners, a backyard breeder is an amateur animal breeder who doesn’t employ ethical standards to breeding. Usually, they only care about profits. This is also like large furniture manufacturers, who build the furniture overseas in factories that have little concern with pollution output. The furniture is over-packaged, overpriced, and imported, creating further air and sea pollution.
So, why would you buy a dog from a backyard breeder when other healthy dogs are available for a ⅕ of the price and have so much love and life to give (#rescuedog). Like used furniture, the dog might have a scratch or two, but it’s cute and loyal, has personality and makes you smile.
Now, I love all dogs, and I wouldn’t be unkind to a puppy mill dog. But, there is joy from giving a home to a dog that would have otherwise been put down. When we list people’s solid wood dressers or marble-topped dining tables for the same price as a new pressboard table (that you have to assemble yourself, mind you), I have to wonder: who wouldn’t choose a Listed Treasure piece over a catalogue item?
Let’s be clear; I’m not asking you to put garbage in your home, just as I wouldn’t ask you to take in a dangerous dog.
I’m asking you to pay less for beautiful, well-made furniture and nearly new kitchen appliances and dishes. I’m asking you to think about how the manufacturing, shipping and packaging of a new item creates toxic emissions and ends up in landfills. I’m asking you to think about your purchasing patterns because the way we spend money reflects our values. What does your credit card bill say about you?
For Earth Month, let’s not just reduce, reuse, recycle. Let’s also rethink. Rethink your choices. Rethink what’s available to you. Rethink what you bring into your home.