As you know, I am working on my personal project of renovating my rented apartment in Berlin. The living room is almost done and there are some small things left to do, but I will talk about it in my next post. Today I want to talk about how to sustainably get rid of furniture because now I have a great experience of doing that and I would love to share my knowledge.
There are many ways to get rid of furniture, but it won’t be necessarily the most sustainable way. When I say sustainable, it means without polluting the planet. For example, don’t burn your old couch in your backyard, please.
Berliner Stadtreinigung (Berlin Waste Management) is responsible for the rubbish produced by two million households. Besides, they ensure clean streets, pavements and squares. It is common to see trash and bulk waste (old furniture) laying on the streets. It is illegal, but Berliners do this. Fortunately, a big part of the waste will be taken by other Berliners to use in their households.
To ensure your furniture will be recycled properly, I would still suggest using the waste management service in your city. I know, it is most probably the most expensive way to get rid of furniture. But it is worth it. You won’t need to carry heavy items outside, and the company will do it all for you. They will pick up the furniture and recycle it as it should be done. Of course, I am talking about those countries, where waste is recycled. If not, try other options to sustainably get rid of furniture.
The most respectful and sustainable way to sustainably get rid of furniture is to give away or donate. There are many organizations in nearly every major city, even in almost every borough, that collect old furniture, clothing, toys, electronics and give them to the families in need. You can proudly be part of this help. But make sure you don’t just donate something that is broken. Make sure the is in a good condition and repair it if needed. I think it is for a good cause, so make some effort, if you want to help someone.
Another option is to renovate and sell, maybe even make it unrecognizable, and sell it on the same classified websites. I love doing this, and consider it as one of my hobbies. One of the projects I had in the past was an old chest of drawers that I found on the street and flipped. I invested some money into the materials, made it look absolutely different and sold it to return my investment and some more. Here you can read and see the process.
The last but not least way to sustainably get rid of furniture is to upcycle it and keep using it. Upcycle means repurposing an object. You can have an old metal bucket with holes, you can DIY a nice ceiling lamp out of it and keep using it. This will give the item a new life.
With the renovation and upcycling are important to keep in mind, that when you use another material, make sure they are also sustainable. So try to avoid plastic or something that is not natural and could pollute the planet.