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ECO INITIATIVE: Rickmansworth charity helps Three Rivers reduce carbon footprint by upcycling furniture

 Published on: 15th May 2021   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A charity based in Rickmansworth is doing its bit to tackle climate change after saving nearly 900 tonnes of furniture from going to landfill.

9 Lives Furniture Store, in Rickmansworth High Street, sells upcycled and secondhand items, such as tables, chairs, beds, household items and clothes donated by the public. 

Since first opening in 2004, the charity says it has sold more than 50,000 items of furniture to more than 13,000 customers – the equivalent to around 900 tonnes of usable items which would otherwise have gone to landfill or been burned.

In 2019/20 alone, 9 Lives sold 2,679 items of furniture and over 2,000 other items including clothes and household goods to 889 customers, saving an incredible 45 tonnes from landfill or incineration – around the weight of seven and a half elephants! 

Marie Frost, the charity’s manager, said: “Not only does reuse stop these items unnecessarily going to waste, but it also reduces consumption of new goods which are often made from unsustainable, non-renewable materials, which themselves will ultimately end up as a waste product.” 

In 2019 Three Rivers District Council declared a climate emergency, committing to making its own operations carbon neutral by 2030 and to helping the district achieve the government target of net zero carbon by 2050.

Cllr Phil Williams, the council’s lead member for environmental services and sustainability, added: “9 Lives are doing great work to help the district reduce its carbon footprint. 

“In the past couple of years we’ve seen a definite trend for people who could easily afford to buy new furniture, wanting to reuse instead. The likes of David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, and popular TV programmes like The Repair Shop have made people wake up to the inconceivable volume of waste produced in the UK alone and the impact it has on our natural world.”

The charity also provides an invaluable opportunity for volunteers to develop interpersonal skills, in addition to practical skills upcycling furniture.

Last year it had around 30 volunteers, many of whom have learning difficulties or are recovering from mental ill-health. 

You can find more information on their website at 9livesfurniture.org.uk

For more information on how Three Rivers is tackling climate change and what the council has done so far, visit threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/climate-change

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