Should you just throw it or give it away? What if your old furniture can be repurposed and become more valuable after the transformation?

This is the concept of furniture upcycling where old furniture pieces can be transformed and converted into something else. It’s possible because most of the wood panels and legs can still be used in making something new. As a result, you won’t need to buy a new furniture piece (you save money) and you get rid of the burden of how to dispose of your old furniture.

A bit different from recycling

There’s a fine difference between upcycling and recycling. In recycling often it often requires breaking down or processing the waste (e.g. melting plastics) and then using the waste to build something new (e.g. plastic-bitumen composite roads). Using the recycled plastic encourages waste reuse and reducing environmental impact. On the other hand, upcycling is about keeping intact the quality and composition of an object. For instance, furniture upcycling could be about disassembling the furniture (without reducing it into particles) and then putting back some of the parts to build something new (e.g. two old chairs combined into creating a French style bench, a single desk converted into two small side tables).

As a result, upcycling requires a lot less energy because there’s no application of heat or other forms of material breakdown or degradation. Contrast this with recycling wherein physical and chemical processes are required for the waste to become useful again. In upcycling, all we need is just a little creativity in breathing new value to an old furniture piece.

Upcycling serves two purposes because the old item won’t end up in the landfill and you help reduce the use of new material. For instance, buying new furniture (or requesting for a custom built one) requires new wood and packaging material. In addition, your old furniture will end up in a landfill (it’s hard to find someone who will accept our old possessions).

What to do with my old furniture

Instead of throwing it away, everybody wins if you repurpose your old furniture. You save money and perhaps you’ll be delighted on the new look and purpose of your furniture. You also help the environment because there’s one fewer object in the landfill (plus there will be less wood and packaging to be used).

It’s a part of our commitment here at Glen Sheldon French Polishing. We specialise in bringing out the value of furniture through our restoration and upcycling services. Every step of the way we apply environment-friendly practices (low or zero VOC finishes, solar power, LED lighting, zero or minimal timber) to stay consistent with our commitment of reusing objects and reducing waste. Contact us today if you share our commitment in helping the environment.

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