Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What Is Sustainable?

Yesterday I continued my total house purge in the basement and this morning I spent a little time in the attic.  I'm neither a hoarder nor a shopper but I've managed to accumulate quite a bit of junk!  As I sort, organize, and discard, I'm making mental notes of things that need to be repaired or replaced.  The living room sofas and the furniture in our "bonus" room are in desperate need of reupholstering.  My son's computer desk and chair need to be discarded and replaced.  I don't have a suitable desk or office chair so I'll be needing those items.  

Going thought this top to bottom purge has got me thinking - are the changes/improvements to my home sustainable?  Granted, I plan to reupholster some furniture rather than buy new, but is doing that truly sustainable?  When I consider the millions of families in the United States who want to do the same thing and then think about available resources, it really gets me thinking:  what level of living the American dream is truly sustainable, i.e., could the rest of the world do the same thing given the limited resources on earth?  Something to think about...


Deanna said...

It sounds like we are in similar situations. We've lived in our current house over 12 years and I'm feeling the need for a little updating and redecorating. We bought new furniture for the family room when we moved in (previous house had just one living area) and the sofas really need to be replaced. I'd consider reupholstering but we haven't been happy about the construction of these pieces so I don't think it's worth it. Fortunately there is now a *re use center* in town and I'm sure someone will be delighted to have our old furniture.

So much of what we have are family hand-me-downs. Some are nice pieces that we want to keep but others are merely things we've made do with for many, many years. Sometimes I feel guilty when I think about replacing items which are essentially still serviceable but on the other hand, we are finally in a position to afford some things that we've chosen on purpose. Hmm...perhaps I should quit there and write a blog post. ;)

Cherie said...

Deanna, as I go though my house, I'm trying to keep in mind that I want things that are functional and that I find attractive. I do try to pass on items that no longer fit into these categories to thrift shops so those less fortunate (or those who find them more attractive) can use them.

I don't feel too guilty about redoing parts of my house as it's not something I do as a routine. When we lived in Florida, so many people redecorated on a regular basis just "because." I did benefit from that attitude as there was a wonderful consignment shop near our home and I bought a lot of gently used, beautiful furniture that I still have and love.