Shown above: “Our house was built from the ground up using 25 percent reclaimed material from the old house and from Re-use Hawai‘i.  It has some pretty neat and funky features and a little story behind each piece.” – Crystal Okamoto

According to the Department of Environmental Services, O’ahu generates more than 1.5 million tons of waste annually, of which more than one million tons are recycled. A big feat, but we can still do more! One small way of reducing the trash piling up in landfills is by repurposing, or taking worn, forgotten furniture and transforming them into something new. It’s good for the environment and easy on your wallet, too.

Why repurpose?

1. It reduces waste in the landfill and saves space for other land usage.

2. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions from waste disposal.

3. It minimizes the need to produce new materials, which conserves energy in harvest, production, transportation and distribution.

4. By supporting deconstruction as opposed to demolition, it provides locally-based green jobs and reduces the use of machines and gas.

Crafty tips for repurposing:

1. Convert a dining table into a coffee table by sawing down or changing the legs.

2. Use old doors as new tabletops.

3. Stain wood furniture to create a rustic look or paint it white to brighten up a room.

4. Take drawers from a chest or dresser and use them as shelves.

See the full article in our ART & DESIGN issue!