Sustainable Furniture Solutions: Reducing Waste and Supporting the Community


In a world marked by excess and disposability, the issue of furniture waste has become increasingly pressing. Each year, Americans discard over 12 million tons of furniture, contributing to a staggering 450 percent increase in solid waste since 1960, as reported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This alarming trend not only poses environmental challenges but also highlights a significant societal problem: the wasteful disposal of furniture that is often still in good condition.

The Furniture Conundrum

Ashlee Piper, a renowned sustainability expert and author of "Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet," points out a crucial aspect of this issue. She notes that the majority of the furniture cluttering landfills is relatively new and typically includes items with minor cosmetic damages or missing parts, rendering them discarded and unusable. This unfortunate reality is exacerbated by the lack of repair programs for such furniture, leading to its premature disposal. The prevailing mindset of "use and discard" has dire consequences for both our environment and communities in need.

A Beacon of Hope: Make it Home

In the face of this challenge, Carolyn Flannery, an interior designer and the owner of Make it Home, has emerged as a beacon of hope. Make it Home is a non-profit furniture bank with a noble mission: to provide gently used furniture and household goods to individuals and families in need, including newly housed foster kids, formerly homeless individuals, and those transitioning out of the foster care system.

Creating Homes and Restoring Dignity

Make it Home goes beyond merely addressing furniture waste; it plays a pivotal role in transforming lives. By furnishing the homes of those who were formerly in crisis, the organization not only provides physical comfort but also creates a genuine sense of home. This, in turn, greatly enhances the confidence and security of its clients, reducing the likelihood of them returning to the streets and setting them on a positive path toward self-sufficiency.

Environmental Stewardship

In addition to its social impact, Make it Home also demonstrates a commitment to environmental stewardship. The organization's efforts effectively divert tons of furnishings away from landfills, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable environment. Make it Home is proud to be recognized as a Certified California Green Business, underscoring its dedication to eco-friendly practices.

Recognition and Endorsement

Make it Home's dedication to its mission has not gone unnoticed. This year, the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce honored the organization with the Joe Garbarino Small Green Business of the Year award, acknowledging its outstanding contributions to both the community and the environment. The endorsement of Make it Home by reputable institutions highlights the significance of its work in addressing the unwanted furniture problem.

Join the Movement

The story of Make it Home serves as an inspiration for all of us to take action. Whether you are a homeowner, a real estate agent, or simply someone with furniture items to donate, you can make a difference. Consider giving your furniture a second life by donating it to Make it Home. Your contribution will not only reduce furniture waste but also help create homes and restore hope for those in need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How can I donate furniture to Make it Home?**
A1: Donating furniture to Make it Home is a straightforward process. You can visit their website at [Make it Home]( to find detailed instructions on how to make a donation.

Q2: What types of furniture items does Make it Home accept for donation?
A2: Make it Home accepts a wide range of gently-used furniture and household goods. From sofas and chairs to appliances and home decor items, your donations can make a significant impact.

Q3: Is Make it Home only operational in specific regions?
A3: Make it Home primarily serves the Marin County and San Rafael areas in California. However, it is always best to check their website for the latest information on their service areas and donation guidelines.

Q4: Can I volunteer with Make it Home to support their mission?
A4: Yes, Make it Home welcomes volunteers who are passionate about their mission. You can visit their website to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how you can get involved.


In a world where furniture waste is a pressing concern, Make it Home stands as a testament to the power of community-driven solutions. By donating furniture, volunteering your time, or simply spreading the word about their mission, you can contribute to the reduction of furniture waste, support individuals and families in need, and help create a more sustainable and compassionate world. Join the movement today and be a part of the solution. Together, we can make a home for everyone and protect our environment for future generations.

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