Currently in The Atlantic, there's an article by Ellen Ruppel Shell on the unsustainability of IKEA. In Buy to Last, Shell makes these points...
- [IKEA is] ...by some measures the world's third-largest wood consumer. The company declines to pay a premium to ensure that all timber is legally harvested, citing costs that would be passed along to the consumer.
- IKEA furniture is made of particleboard and pine is not meant to last a lifetime.
- [IKEA] positions outlets far from city centers, where taxes are low and commuting costs high—the average IKEA customer drives 50 miles round-trip.
- Designed but not crafted, IKEA bookcases and chairs, like most cheap objects, resist involvement: when they break or malfunction, we tend not to fix them. Rather, we buy new ones.
The article regards the need for quality and value, and their effects on consumption and hence the environment. It's something we all probably think about daily as we assess how we live and better our homes. Where do we strike a middle ground of affordability and quality that is most sustainable?
Read the full article at The Atlantic.
Image: Apartment Therapy Boston's Eco Guilt and Ikea: Is It Green?