Constantly changing trends in kitchen appliances and decor can fill a lot of landfills; if you decorate your kitchen with the styles and colors of today, just know that you’ll have to replace them with the styles and colors of tomorrow if you want to stay hip. That’s not only expensive, but it causes people to throw away a lot of appliances, tiles, counter tops, and other otherwise functional additions to a kitchen, solely because they’re not designed with the latest trends in mind.
Luckily for the trendy, eco-friendly decorator, there is a middle path; it’s possible to decorate your kitchen, and continuously swap out your kitchen decor, without sacrificing style or the planet. Here’s how:
First off, you’re going to need to learn how to up-cycle. Up-cycling happens when, instead of building your own furniture using materials taken from all over the world, you instead decide to give older furniture a “makeover.” With some sandpaper, a new layer of paint or stain, bright fabrics, and a little time and love, it’s very possible to create vibrant and stylish furniture without using additional resources and while saving something otherwise functional from hitting the landfill. There are plenty of options at local thrift stores that are not only cheap, but have great bones and can lend an old, artsy air to your living space.
Another environmentally friendly choice when it comes to home decorating; be sure to buy local before you sponsor an enormous corporation that will send your furniture from half the world away (which takes a whole lot more time and resources, and often involve processes that are kept under wraps). Buying local wares enables you to better understand the processes through which the resources used are put, and you can make sure you agree with the policies and values of the companies involved.
One thing that I would emphasis more so than anything is the fact that what you get today is just going to cost you in the long run. And if you save money today on some cheap mass produced thing from China you are just going to pay for it again and again year after year and fill up land fill after land fill. There is one thing that is really important to consider which has long gone to the way side and that is if you make something that is of a high quality that costs you more up front but is beautiful and steady then you are going to appropriate it more in the long run and thus take car of it. You could go your whole life with a table that is something you cherish and eventually pass along to your kids if fortune warrants them. The basic tenant of my design philosophy that the reason that we waste so much is that we are not materialist in fact we care very little about the materials and that is the point. They should be seen as what they are, finite and be cherished as such.