7 Creative Ways to Recycle Furniture and Reduce Environmental Waste

According to the EPA, almost 9 million tons of furniture go to waste annually. What’s even more eye-opening is that around 50% of the collected pieces are reusable.

To avoid contributing to this problem, it’s best to adopt sustainable practices like recycling and repurposing.

Not only do you contribute to a better environment, but you can turn these DIY projects into profitable ventures!

Continue reading this article to learn about seven creative ways to recycle furniture.

Repurpose Your Dresser

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Your trusty dresser, once a staple in your bedroom, may lose its luster over time. The good news is that this piece of furniture is a chameleon when it comes to repurposing.

For starters, you can turn it into a console table for your entryway. If your dresser is wide enough, you can also use it as a sink cabinet.

By removing a few drawers and adding a lick of paint, you can breathe new life into this piece.

As for the remaining drawers, use them as decorative shelves.

Simply remove all the hardware, fix any holes, and separate the drawer using wooden boards. Screw on some furniture legs, spice it up with some paint, and you’re done!

Transform Plastic Chairs Into Garden Planters

Although plastic chairs offer a cozy spot to sit on, over time, wear and tear can take a toll on their appeal.

Instead of throwing them away and stressing the environment, you can transform them into eye-catching garden planters.

The best part is that this sustainable solution is easy on the pocket!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Take the measurements: Place a pot upside down on the chair and mark the dimensions using a pen.
  2. Make a cut: Using an electric circular saw, make a circular opening in the chair. Make sure to take safety precautions.
  3. Place the pot: Ensure a snug fit by placing the pot into the chair.
  4. Add a splash of color: Remove the pot and paint the chair to make it more vibrant.
  5. Start gardening: Place the pot back, add a soil mix, and transplant your favorite plant inside the container.

Pro tip: You can also use the arms as support for vines to make your chair-planter blend better with your garden!

Use Old Doors as Coffee Tables

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If you’re a fan of unique furniture, you might like this creative idea. Instead of throwing out broken doors, try using them as coffee tables! This one-of-a-kind piece can make an excellent statement piece that adds a charming touch to your living room.

Start by looking for solid doors in your storage room. Choose those with interesting textures and the desired size.

Once you’ve found the perfect door, it’s time to transform it! Here’s how:

  1. Place the door on a stable surface and trim it, if necessary, using a circular saw.
  2. Remove existing paint using paint strippers. Make sure to avoid solvents with methylene chloride, as it can be toxic.
  3. Use sandpaper to smooth the surface.
  4. Apply a fresh coat of spray paint that matches your decor. For a rustic look, go with the door’s original patina.
  5. Attach four sturdy furniture legs, one for each corner. You can also screw the door to an existing coffee table to make it sturdier.

DIY Table Cart

Thinking about buying a table cart? With an old side table and a few wheels, you can create a personalized table cart that suits your needs! Here’s what you need to do:

  • Select your side table: Choose a sturdy table with shelves underneath.
  • Gather the tools: You’ll need to buy caster wheels. Choose one with a lock mechanism. You’ll need sandpaper, a power drill, screws, and some paint finish (optional).
  • Prepare the table: Remove the existing finish using sandpaper. In the case of paint, use a solvent.
  • Flip the table: Turn the table upside down to expose the underside.
  • Install the wheels: Using an electric drill, attach the caster wheels at each corner.
  • Repaint your cart table: You can apply a new finish, stain, or paint layer to spice up the table.
  • Sell Old Furniture

    If your used furniture is still in good shape, consider revamping and selling it to make extra cash. You’ll find many places that’ll buy your old pieces. Some of these include:

  • Local thrift stores: Many local thrift shops and used furniture stores will accept old furniture. Consider contacting the vendors and providing a detailed description of your item.
  • Online marketplaces: Online e-commerce platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and more, are an excellent way to access a broad audience and sell old furniture. Make sure to use clear pictures and provide accurate descriptions.
  • Garage sale: Consider hosting a garage sale or participating in flea markets to quickly sell your items to nearby neighbors. Check local regulations and laws before organizing your sale.
  • Trade-In for a Fresh Start

    If you’re ready to bid farewell to your old furniture, consider trading it for a double win. Many furniture companies are willing to accept usable units and offer you a discount in exchange.

    For instance, Walter E. Smithe, a furniture and design company, has a Trade-In Sale program. As the name suggests, you can trade your old items and receive a 20% discount on any of their pieces. You also receive up to $500 to spend in their stores.

    Of course, such offers are for a limited time. So, make sure to subscribe to their newsletters to be the first in line.

    You can also check with local furniture stores to see if they offer similar promotions.

    Throw It Away

    If you don’t like any of these options, you can simply dispose of the furniture. Recycling is an excellent way to do that. That’s especially true if your items are worn out.

    As you know, furniture contains metal, wood, and other recyclable materials. You can check with a local junk removal service. Make sure they use sustainable disposable practices.

    Donating is a meaningful way to repurpose your unwanted furniture. Consider contacting non-profit organizations like the Salvation Army, local charities, or even thrift stores. They may help find a new owner for your old items instead of throwing them away!

    Wrapping Up

    As you can see, several ways can help you recycle furniture and put it to good use. 

    For dressers, consider repurposing them as entry tables or sink cabinets. Don’t forget to turn the drawers into stylish shelves.

    With simple DIY techniques, you can revamp old plastic chairs into eye-catching garden planters. You can even transform old doors into one-of-a-kind statement pieces with some furniture legs. 

    And if you’re not a fan of DIY projects, selling, donating, or recycling the furniture makes for a great option. Whichever method you choose, all these ideas will help you reduce waste, contributing to a greener environment!