Thursday, July 15, 2010

Not New, But Improved


After a year spent nursing my son in this rocking chair, it developed some issues. Namely, a small tear in the seat, which soon widened when it caught the fancy of my toddler. We simply could not persuade him that pulling stuffing out of chairs was not fun.

But otherwise, the rocking chair was still comfortable, if a little worn after thirty years of service. Soooo.... my husband, who is a very Handy Man, dismantled the chair and removed the seat. We bought a yard of faux leather to cover it for $10 from a fabric store, and asked Pop to recover the seat (mainly through liberal use of a staple gun, but also with some nifty rolling edges).

Voila! We spent $10 vs. an estimated $250 to purchase a new chair, and prevented the old one from ending up in a landfill. We also saved time and hassle because we spent less time recovering the old chair than the time it would take to shop for a new (or used) one.

After starting to read the Story of Stuff last night, I'm extremely glad we repaired our old chair. In the condition it was in, even the Goodwill might have kicked it to the curb. So by keeping it, we saved thousands of gallons of water used to produce the raw materials, prevented toxic chemicals used to process the material from ending up in the groundwater, kept metal mines from destroying ecosystems and polluting streams, and drastically cut transportation fuel for shipping the raw materials and final product.

Even if we eventually decide to replace the chair, it would now be sent to the resale market instead of ending up in the landfill. Not bad for a $10 investment.

6 comments:

Chile said...

Oh, this reminds me that both our recliners need to have something done about the small holes in the seats. They are fabric and "fray-stop" has kept the holes from enlarging, but I want to patch them somehow without recovering the whole thing.

Glad you've still got your comfy chair and no more loose stuffing. Maybe your son could de-stuff a teddy bear or something... ;-)

nomad496 said...

That's a nice job too. I bet you get a lot of satisfaction out of repairing something instead of just chucking it. I always do; I feel like I'm sticking it to the consumer ecology lifestyle.

Wendy said...

I love when I'm able to make a repair of something I have rather than throwing it out. When my husband and I bought our house, my parents gave me their old leather couch. It was almost as old as I am and had definitely seen some better days. I reupholstered the cushions and made a "new" couch, which we continued to use for several years ... until we freecycled it ;).

Sharlene T. said...

When you've recovered it for the third time, it becomes a family heirloom. My mother had a full corner couch set that was recovered at least five times and stayed within the family for over 70 years... I think a niece has it now... great job on the chair...

Twitter: SolarChief

Lisa Sharp said...

Very cool!

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

Chile - it takes a long time for me to get around to repairing little things like that, but a stich in time saves nine!

nomad- yes, we do!

Wendy - we have inherited 90% of our furniture too!

Sharlene - that's amazing, that must have been a good quality couch to last that long.

Lisa - thanks!