When the time comes to replace your kitchen, why not reuse (repurpose) old materials by applying these furniture recycling ideas/ tips? It's tempting to just throw the existing cabinets away and start from scratch. That's not only unnecessary, it's wasteful. That's because the majority of kitchen cabinet materials are non-recyclable. This creates a significant problem to the environment, and it's simply not sustainable for our planet.
Your old kitchen appliances do not have to be thrown away. There are many creative ways that you can do to transform your old kitchen equipment and furniture into beautiful and functional new items.
Watch our video below for some creative furniture recycling ideas, and afterwards don't forget to return to scroll down for more!
Tip # 1: Remake your old kitchen equipment into unique lamps and décor items.
You can easily find many beautiful and charming decorative chandeliers in electric and antique shops. Many are available, starting from the design of pendants with a multitude of magnificent crystals, to elegant minimalist chandeliers. But, your guests will definitely be more amazed by the exceptionally unique recycled chandelier upcycled from your kitchen equipment.
This approach is especially good if you're into the so-called Steampunk design. This sub-genre of interior design is based on reusing old appliances and metallic objects. You can find a wealth of inspiration here.
In the past, kitchen items like filter containers were very often made of metal. You can add unique and interesting decoration to your kitchen area upcycling your old kitchen equipment!
You just need to simply connect electricity at several points on the wall as a lighting source. Then use your old filter container to cover the light source.
Your old kitchen equipment will reduce the light intensity of the lamp and help create a romantic feel in your kitchen space.
Tip #2: Apply Furniture Recycling Ideas to Upcycle, and Downcycle
The majority of kitchen furniture recycling methods involve an upcycling technique.
Upcycling is a way to convert used goods into other usable goods but without processing the materials. Usually, this technique focuses on utilizing used goods into new goods without reducing their value. In other words, upcycling means recycling low-value materials into higher value items.
So, what is downcycling? On the contrary, downcycling means recycling high-value materials into lower value items, for example, you make a kitchen mop from an old T-shirt.
Upcycling your old kitchen doesn't have to be limited to creating décor objects. You can also transform larger objects. For example, with the right approach, kitchen cabinets can be transformed into other bits of furniture.
Parts of kitchen cabinets can be transformed into garage shelving units or even built-in wardrobes for your bedroom. Getting a new built in wardrobe normally cost from £2000 upwards. By reusing your kitchen furniture you can cut this cost dramatically.
Tip #3: Recycle where possible
If neither of the above tips apply and you fail to come up with any successful furniture recycling ideas, don't fret. But, do at least try to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill.
If your previous kitchen came from a run-of-the-mill chain store, it's likely that the bulk of your old kitchen setup won't be good enough to recycle.
You should remember that there are several things that should not be recycled. One of them is the furniture made of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). It is made of used wood which is mixed with a toxic binder so that it forms board sheets. This material will be bad for your health because of the volume of VOC coming from formaldehyde used to glue wood particles together.
If you've chosen to live an eco-conscious life, you will probably choose a sustainable kitchen for your next project. However, now it's about trying to solve the mistakes made during the previous kitchen installation.
The majority of kitchens out there will contain a certain amount of MDF or even be entirely composed from this non-eco-friendly material.
The first step is to evaluate what you have. Try to identify materials of your old kitchen, make a list and do some research online. If you get stuck, phone up your local council as they will be able to advise what materials can be recycled.
Tip #4: Sell What You Can't Recycle
Unless your current kitchen is totally derelict, there's a possibility you could sell it or donate it. There are many people who can't afford a new kitchen or others who collect used furniture for various projects. Just put an ad up on Gumtree or eBay. This is one of my most evergreen of Furniture Recycling Ideas, and for many years this has worked for me. But, if it doesn't sell for a few hundred pounds, you can still see if you can find any charities that would like to take it.
Kitchen furniture along with other types of domestic furniture account for an exceptionally high carbon footprint. Even sustainable kitchens are relatively carbon-intensive to produce. But, MDF and other traditional materials send the carbon emissions literally through the roof.
According to this study, a complicated full-size 3-foot kitchen unit with drawers will have accumulated 43 kg of CO2 emissions before it reaches your property. A similar length of a laminated kitchen worktop accounts for 24 kg CO2 while simpler 3-foot unit without drawers would have a 26 kg CO2 footprint.
Furniture Recycling Ideas – Our Conclusion
So you see, producing kitchens and other types of furniture leave a significant impact on our planet. We won't try to talk you out of replacing an old kitchen, however, following these kitchen furniture recycling tips could reduce your carbon footprint significantly.