Antiques: The Original Recyclable

The simplest and most affordable way to mitigate more furniture going into landfills is to shop vintage for your home.

While reading an article online in The Atlantic this morning (not typical of me but let’s roll with it) the headline about how China is no longer taking the United States recycled material caught my attention and hit home hard.  As some of you may have heard, The Local Vault is involved in a partnership for the month of March with the local luxury store The Perfect Provenance called Sustainable-Upcycling-Perfect, that focuses on promoting sustainable living and upcycling. Included in this partnership is also  Stylist Maria Turkel, Sue Bodson of Emboss, LLC,  Zaniac Greenwich, and Chef Silvia Baldini.  The Perfect Provenance will host a series of events and initiatives to benefit Kids in Crisis, a crisis counseling and temporary emergency shelter and prevention program for CT children and families.  This campaign is an incredibly worthy cause on both a local and global level.  I may sound a bit ambitious, but understand I am the daughter of a man who was fond of saying, “Think globally, act locally” and honestly if not us, then who? The Perfect Provenance hosted a press day last week, and during my blurb on TLV and how we work, I mentioned that buying and selling furniture on TLV keeps furniture “out of landfills.” While this is a phrase often used when discussing recycling, repurposing, and recommerce, I realized that I did not know much about these landfills I had referenced, so I took a deeper dive.


According to Mallory Szczepanski in her article for Waste 360, furniture waste, or F-Waste, as it is referred to in the recycling business (I swear!) is “an estimated 8.5 million ton annual trash problem, (and) is becoming the new e-waste, according to experts”. There is some good news though as some companies are leading the charge to come up with a sustainable solution to this problem. One such company is Herman Miller  a Zeeland, Mich.-based furniture designer and manufacturer. Approximately eight years ago, Herman Miller developed its rePurpose Program, which deals with surplus corporate assets through a combination of resale, recycling, and donation.  Herman Miller has spearheaded this program along with Green Standards and General Motors. Please learn more about this from Ms. Szczepanski’s full article HERE. This is very encouraging news and is no doubt a priority for many other like-minded companies.


In another piece written for Architectural Digest, writer  Samantha Weiss Hills, sited “Furniture is considered Municipal Solid Waste, or MSW, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to its most recent data, the EPA estimates that total MSW generation in 2014 was 258.5 million tons.” I checked in on the 2016 report and FDA estimated that number has unfortunately increased to 262.4 million tons. Click HERE for full report. As Ms. Weiss Hills pointed out in her article  “While there are several ways to reduce waste of food and other short-lifespan recyclable goods, the simplest and most affordable way to mitigate more furniture going into landfills is to shop vintage for your home. It can be intimidating, wading through antique stores and/or choosing things from a dealer you don’t yet know or trust. But with a growing number of brands that do the vintage sourcing for you, the guesswork is taken out of those bigger purchases—and you’ll be saving some particle board from the landfill in no time.” Drumroll for my shameless plug here, The Local Vault is one such resource for unique antique, vintage and luxury pre-owned furniture.


Knowing what I do now, I feel even better about the efforts that The Local Vault and its fabulous partners are making for our community, our environment, and our future. We are blessed to live in a place where there is much good fortune and many who wish to help “give back” in a multitude of ways.

Finally, I couldn’t miss this opportunity to roll out a collection of some of my FAVORITE antiques that are currently listed on TLV. Similar pieces are often used by some of the most celebrated designers of our time. A few of my favorites being Vicente Wolf, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Mark Sikes, Markham Roberts, Steven Gambrel, Victoria Hagan, Sarah Bartholomew, and Wesley Moon. The style of each designer is so unique, some more modern and others more traditional, but the use of antiques is the layer added to their spaces that give the interiors a timeless and welcoming feel.  Great design that is good for the environment; this is my happy space!  Cheers,  Betsy


TLV is about sharing, supporting and discovering all that's great about the community we live in. We strive to inspire, enlighten and sometimes entertain. Our team of tastemakers are mothers, wives, sisters and friends, and together we share our musings about love, life and home.
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