Solving the Unwanted Furniture Problem -- Make it Home has the Solution
Each year, Americans throw out more than 12 million tons of furniture, creating mountains of solid waste that has grown 450 percent since 1960, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Bits of tossed furniture can be recycled, but the vast majority end up in landfills.
Most of the furniture currently cluttering dumps 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. “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.”
Carolyn Flannery, an interior designer and owner of Make it Home has created a company to help solve two problems. Make It Home furnishes homes of those in need with donated furniture and household goods or those transitioning out of homelessness or aging out of the foster care system, even the simplest of furniture and household goods are unaffordable.
Make it Home is a non-profit furniture bank that provides gently-used furniture and household goods to newly-housed foster kids, formerly homeless families and individuals who would otherwise move into an empty apartment.
By providing furnishings to those formerly in crisis, Make It Home not only creates a true home for its clients, but also greatly increases their confidence and sense of security. These efforts dramatically reduce their chance of returning to the streets and hopefully put them on a positive path.
With the homes they help create, we keep tons of furnishings out of landfills. Caring about our community and the environment is woven into everything we do. Make It Home is proud to be a Certified California Green Business.
This year, the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce honored Make it Home with the Joe Garbarino Small Green Business of the Year. Last week, I went to MIH to see what it is all about. Many homes that I am getting ready to list often send truckloads to the dump. It always made me cringe to throw away perfectly fine furniture that was just outdated. Now I am delighted to recommend to my clients to Make it Home!!
The next time that you have some furniture items to donate, consider giving it to Make it Home.