Adventures in Office Greening, Volume 1, Issue 5
I have a fondness for home remodeling TV shows. The ones where they take a less than perfect house and pretty it up.
I cringe, however, when they take a sledgehammer to well-constructed, but out of date cabinetry. Then I cringe some more as they throw it into a big dumpster. Hello landfill!
A lot of times, the older stuff was built better, and with better wood. And in many cities, non-profit organizations will take these items, if carefully removed, and sell or donate them. One is Habitat for Humanity’s Restore.
Construction debris takes up a large part of our landfills. And it represents materials that could be easily reused in construction if properly “deconstructed”.
One deconstruction specialist mentioned that the cost to deconstruct versus demolish a house can be about double. But since more and more cities are becoming stricter with construction debris and landfill fees, this field will most likely take off.
Interiors play a big part as well. I’ve heard from people in the industry, that the interior design of hotels, especially towards the high-end of the spectrum, are planned with a 5-year life cycle. Then once again, it’s “Hello landfill.”
Styles change, kitchen layout concepts improve, and things get worn out. Perhaps a happy medium could be found in modular and durable furniture, better construction, or innovations in carpeting, to name a few.