Most of us have heard about fast food, and probably enjoy (or suffer through) a fast food meal on a regular basis. We may have also heard of fast fashion, and the temptation to update our wardrobe on a monthly or weekly basis. We probably haven’t heard of fast furniture, however. Fast furniture is another outcome of our consumer-driven demand for ease, mobility, cheap prices, and continually new consumer items. With convenience and instant satisfaction being the guiding consumer values of the day, home design trends are quickly adapting to this new norm. Whereas our grandparent´s generation either purchased or made a couch, dining room table, or bed stand that was built to last a lifetime, most households today will furnish a home several times throughout their lives.
Fast furniture can be defined as any type of home furnishing that helps individuals adapt to lives of ease and increasing mobility. Moving a 3,000 pound grand piano or solid wood cabinetry will not be either cheap or easy. With the average person moving homes at least eleven times during their lifetime, people are increasingly looking for furniture that is inexpensive, lightweight, yet fashionable and “chic.” Even for people who are not physically moving homes, the process of de-cluttering, downsizing, upgrading, or simply changing their home design preferences each year based on the latest trends has fundamentally changed the essence of the furniture and home furnishings industry. Instead of durability, strength, and lasting beauty, many people today look for fast furniture that is cheap, easy-to-breakdown furniture, and keeps their interior design in line with the latest trends.
Just as with fast food and fast fashion, fast furniture also comes with a series of negative consequences. Below, we take a look at the growing environmental footprint of fast fashion. We then turn our attention to a few ways that homeowners, individuals, and business owners can reduce the environmental impact of furniture that they need to get rid of due to a move, an upgrade, or a redesign of their building interior.
A Look at the Environmental Footprint of Fast Furniture
When items are built to only last a few years instead of a few generations, there will obviously be increased demand for raw material extraction, and a larger and more continuous waste stream once those items break down and are no longer functional. In the specific case of furniture, the raw materials used for couches, beds, tables, and other common home furnishings is vastly different today than it was just a couple of decades ago. Underneath layers of foam and synthetic fabrics and textiles, most furniture bases are made from plywood and other types of manufactured wood. This is obviously different from the solid wood bases that were built for a lifetime.
Cheaper materials and shabby manufacturing have created an enormous amount of furniture waste flowing into our nation´s landfills. Consider the following statistics:
- Each year, Americans throw out more than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings,
- Of this amount of trash, only 80.2 percent of it went to landfill, and less than half of one percent of that waste in the landfill was recovered for recycling,
- Furniture waste statistics do not even include rugs, which amounted to a further 3.4 million tons of waste in 2017.
- Around 690,000 mattresses are sold each MONTH in the United States. Most of those mattress are meant to replace another older mattress that is eventually sent to a landfill.
How to Reduce the Negative Impact of Fast Furniture?
So what exactly are people supposed to do if they need a new couch, but don’t have the money to invest in a solid piece of hand-crafted mastery that costs a small fortune? Or what about that young worker who is taking a temporary job in a new city and needs to quickly furnish an apartment for a couple months? Fortunately, there are several ways that people today can avoid the worst environmental effects of fast furniture.
Firstly, many big home furnishing companies such as Ikea are making promises to transition to a “circular economy model” in the coming years. Among other things, this means that consumers may be able to take their used furniture back to the place where they bought it for refurbishing or recycling. If you do need a new couch, but don’t plan on keeping it for a lifetime, purchasing from companies that have a “buy back” or recycling program can help to avoid sending your old furniture directly to the landfill.
Secondly, you might also consider trying to sell or donate your used furniture that is still in good condition. There are several websites where you can list your furniture items for local sale. Furthermore, Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other companies may also accept your used furniture for resale.
If you don’t want to deal with selling your furniture, and don’t have a trailer or pickup truck to physically move your furniture to a donation center, you may also consider hiring a professional junk removal company.
Junk King of San Carlos is the leading junk removal service for individuals and business owners in the Bay area. We provide junk removal services to the Peninsula area, including residential and commercial service to people in Atherton, Belmont, La Honda, Loma Mar, Los Altos, Menlo Park Mountain View, Palo Alto, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Gregorio, and Stanford.
Our junk removal team has developed solid, long-standing relationships with several donation and recycling centers, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army, local homeless shelters, Habitat for Humanity and Urban Ore. We are able to help you get rid of virtually any type of large, bulky furniture item that you have laying around your home. We also offer a commercial service to local Bay area businesses where we can help you remove large amounts of used office furniture, appliances, computers, etc.
Our company is also proud to say that we offer the best customer service in the region. We have dedicated staff waiting to answer your call and help you find an effective solution for all of your furniture removal needs. For online and text price estimates, we also make every effort to give you a response in 10 minutes or less. Fair pricing, quality customer service, and a sincere commitment to recycling or reusing at least 60 percent of the junk we pick up are just a few of the reasons that Junk King is the Bay area’s number one preferred junk removal service.
Lastly, we believe that getting rid of your used furniture (or fast furniture) shouldn’t have to be a headache for our customers. We will do all the heavy lifting and hauling so that you don’t have to deal with trying to get your used furniture out of your home. If you prefer “no contact” service, you can arrange for us to pick up your used furniture that you leave on your driveway or on the curb without ever coming into physical contact with our junk removal professionals.
Simply call us at 1-888-5865(JUNK) or consider booking us online here.