One of the largest obstacles to a clean and sustainable environment is the exorbitant amount of waste produced by humans every year. Researchers estimate that industrial waste reaches a staggering 7.6 billion tons annually. Many furniture dealers and interior designers contribute to that statistic when their primary goal is to swap out all perfectly-functioning, existing products for new, updated ones without considering the ecological effects of their efforts. However, revamping your space in an earth-friendly way is possible. Here is how you can create more sustainable interior designs.
We have all heard the expression, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” It is a simple and effective means of minimizing your ecological footprint. Though we often equate the expression to putting plastic bottles in recycling bins and turning off lights when exiting a room, the same strategy can be applied to interior design.
More often than not, the individual pieces of furniture are not the problem, but rather the way they are arranged in a space. Thus, buying a whole new set of chairs is an impractical solution. You can salvage your existing furniture by considering different ways to occupy the space. Rearranging may seem like the more daunting task because it requires a little bit of creativity, but it is helpful to start by thinking about the function of each room. What is the purpose of this space? What activities do you do most regularly in this room? What arrangement would allow you to execute those activities with ease? Then, sketch your new layout on a piece of paper. Once you are satisfied with the visual, begin moving furniture––largest pieces first and smallest pieces last. Voila! You have a refreshed space with reused items.
In the event that the individual pieces of furniture really are the problem, try a thorough cleaning or reupholstery. If your efforts are to no avail, move on to the next R.
It is okay to get rid of furniture that has run its course. A sustainable way to discard old items is donation rather than dumping. The Interior Motions warehouse seeks out used furniture pieces destined for the landfill and gives them a second life. Our removal, restoration, and retail services are a unique aspect of our business and a large part of our attempt to reduce industrial waste.
Reduce is perhaps the most difficult task of the three R’s given that a consumerist mindset is practically a staple of modern society. However, there are small steps you can take to reduce your level of consumption. For example, you can paint or tile only visible surfaces (e.g. leaving closets, the underside of surfaces, and back rooms bare). Furthermore, you can adopt a minimalist lifestyle where you only purchase items that are essential to the function or design of your space.
Aside from the three R’s, there are many other ways your interior design habits can help the planet. Purchase used furniture, ensure that the companies you buy from align with your values, and understand where the materials of your products come from. Herman Miller converts all wood waste back into raw materials for their products, which is why we are proud to be an authorized Herman Miller dealer in addition to being a used furniture provider. Stop by our warehouse to become part of the solution.
Also read: Maintaining a Healthy Work Life Balance