Let's Celebrate Earth Day – aka: A Fun Dive into Sustainable Interior Design!

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Welcome to Earth Month, where we celebrate our beautiful planet and gear up for Earth Day on April 22nd! It's the time of the year when we put on our eco-warrior hats and dive into all things sustainable: people all around the world come together to celebrate our planet and think about how we can take better care of it. From planting trees to cleaning up beaches, there are all sorts of activities to get involved in. It's like a birthday party for Mother Earth, where we show her how much we appreciate everything she does for us.

And guess what: Also how you buy your interior has something to do with the well-being of our planet and our future! How? Let us dive in!

Credit: 2nd home

THE FACTS

Sustainability in the Interior Industry:

Did you know that the interior design industry has a massive impact on the environment? Yep, it's true! On average, each person produces enough interior waste to fill a whole room: In the EU, the total annual furniture waste equates to 10.78 million tonnes, which is equivalent to 500 thousand fully loaded trucks!

Roughly 80-90% of all furniture that could (!) be reusable ends up on landfills in Europe (according to European Federation of Furniture Manufacturers (UEA) statistics), with only 10% recycled. That's a lot of stuff piling up, folks!

Check yourself – so you don’t wreck yourself, and the planet!

Sorry to say, but: You are the problem. Yes you, and you, and I, and all the others, who are guilty of falling for those trendy, but not-so-eco-friendly, interior pieces sometimes. Our buying habits play a big role in the waste problem of the interior industry, too.

THE PROBLEM

Fast fashion’s sister: fast interior!

For years, fast fashion has been on the radar as the biggest polluter in the lifestyle industry. But guess what: the interior industry is equally bad! Fast interior is a thing: you know, those cheap, low-quality pieces that fall apart after a couple years.

New stuff is the bad stuff: Most furniture that is being thrown out is furniture that was made within the last 10 to 15 years, according to Ashlee Piper, a sustainability expert and author of Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet.

“It’s usually new furniture that’s being tossed,” Ashlee says to AD Magazine. “It’s things like a chair that’s missing a leg or things with cosmetic damage to them. That’s because it’s just not built to last and there aren’t repair programs for it. It was intended to have a short lifespan.” Fast interior are often poorly fabricated items that consist of a mix of too many materials, such as wood, metal, plastics, foam, fabric and more makes, which makes it tricky to separate and recycle compared to more solid built vintage pieces. So most of those affordable but disposable furnishings end up in the landfill after a short life.

Credit: 2nd home

THE SOLUTION

Is this eco-nightmare a big vibe kill for you? We feel you! But hey, let’s end on a more positive note: It’s super easy to make changes that help our planet, secure our healthy future and (!) decorate the most beautiful homes.

Here are 3 sustainable and stylish tips:

  1. Choose timeless pieces and tune down on trends: Trends can be fun and stuff, but nothing shows classiness, sophistication, knowledge and true style like timeless pieces. They should make up the majority of your decoration – and then you can add a few (!) trendy items here and there.
  2. Need some new furniture? Try finding what you are looking for as second hand items before you buy new: You’ll be astonished, how many amazing vintage and second hand pieces there are out there – and of course, we at 2nd home are here to help you with the finest curation of amazing interior. And if you cannot find what you were looking for, simply send us a message, and we’ll go on the hunt for you!
  3. Check the “cost per use” for new items: In order to higher the “cost per use” value of your interior items, you need to use them more – or sell them to others, so they use those items. The cost per use of a chair is to calculate: if you buy a chair for 500 Euro, but you only sit on this chair 10 times as long as you own it, the cost per use is 50 Euro. If you use this chair 100 times, it’s only 5 Euro. The more often an item is used, the more justifiable is it’s purchase. And if you have to buy new, obviously opt for ethically produced furniture from sustainable materials. Eco-friendliness is key here!

Credit: 2nd home

THE CONCLUSION

Earth Day isn't just about planting trees and hugging pandas (although those are pretty awesome too!). It's about making conscious choices every day, including how we design and decorate our homes. So, let's celebrate Earth Day with a pledge to make our interiors as sustainable AND stylish as can be. After all, it's the only planet with cute puppies and pizza, so let's keep it green!

ABOUT EARTH MONTH

Earth Day was established on April 22, 1970, by Senator Gaylord Nelson to raise awareness about environmental issues. Earth Month is a an extension of this concept and takes place during April every year. It’s a time to raise environmental awareness and create consciousness around the issues that affect our planet and nature during this time of crisis. Every April, leaders, and environmental activists from all over the world join hands to create sustainable development and offer climate solutions, to minimize our carbon footprint and prevent further harm to our planet’s natural resources.