With over thirty years of salvage under our belts, we recognize not only the importance of this green industry, but the delicate balance behind the scenes in order to make sure materials aren’t thrown in the landfill. Let’s talk about architectural salvage and how it plays a pivotal role in the environment (and the economy!):
WHAT IS ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE?
Unless you’re in the industry, architectural salvage isn’t often understood by the general public. Not only are we educating the public about what salvage is, we’re showcasing how materials can last for decades to come.
Architectural salvage is the process in which we remove materials from a building or home that is scheduled for demolition or remodeling. The purpose of salvaging materials is for them to be reused and reinstalled into another space. Not all goods are created equally and we only accept high-quality materials meant to stand the test of time that makes sense in someone else’s project. From old-growth wood flooring to solidly built lighting fixtures from decades ago, Earthwise gives a second life to materials that are built to last.
WHO DO WE WORK WITH TO GET THESE MATERIALS?
Like many of you, we’re sad to see historical structures being demolished. We also know that some buildings can’t stick around forever. Whether the cause is the changing landscape of a city, a building that is too far gone to be restored, or a developer building something new, we actively work with homeowners, developers, and the city regularly to ensure we can salvage as many quality materials as possible.
WHY IS ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE IMPORTANT?
The truth is: we are often the last stop before the landfill for materials from demolition sites or large remodels. Many developers don’t know that salvage exists as an option before demolition, so along with educating the general public, we reach out to prospective clients and pitch to them why it’s important they work with us.
Being a part of the greater Seattle area for 30 years, we’ve also forged many long-lasting relationships with the community and have gotten many leads from long-time customers.
Here are a few reasons why Earthwise is an important part of the salvage industry:
- Earthwise saves 1000+ tons of material from the landfill each year
- We reduce the environmental impact of demolitions and remodels
- We create a market of affordable, high-quality building materials available to the public
- We keep historically significant items out of the waste stream
THE FUTURE OF THE GREEN INDUSTRY
Even the greenest of modern industries can still generate waste from materials being used. The solar panel, for instance, has a whole fossil fuel-dependent supply chain behind it as well as harvesting of natural resources to build it.
You can’t get any greener than salvage. Salvage industries like ours are actively removing items from the waste stream and giving consumers an alternative to buying something new. Every door that is salvaged and reused is one less new door that needs to be made.
Architectural salvage collects reused materials, especially from past eras when things were built to last. As the world pivots away from wasteful, conventional practices towards more sustainable materials and lifestyles, the salvage industry will continue its trajectory into the mainstream. We are in an industry that is constantly growing, and that means more opportunities for green careers and salvaging materials that last.
Companies in the green industry and out recognize the value of using reused materials instead of mass-producing waste. As we navigate the coming years in the salvage industry, our slogan will remain steadfast: “Respect the Past, Sustain the Future.”