Antiques are Green

The Antiques Trade Gazette has an article on a report that antiques are truly environmental beneficial. The report claims antiques have a carbon footprint 16 times lower than newly manufactured pieces. There has been a movement to promote antiques as being green and this current study was completed by Carbon Clear, and was sponsored by numerous Antique Trade groups, including the ATG, Antiques are Green, and the British Antiques Dealers Association.

The ATG reports

While details of the cutting and processing involved in the manufacture of the modern chest of drawers in China were readily available, certain assumptions had to be made about the origins of the antique piece based on expert opinion.

The carbon emissions associated with the actual manufacture of the antique piece were very low. Cabinetmaker’s workshops in the 1830s were not generally powered and all work was done by hand and in daylight, timber cutting was also done by hand but the report factored in 70 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions coefficient already calculated at Bath University for current wood cutting and processing.

A similarly conservative approach was taken to the life of the antiques chest, where it was assumed to have been sold and restored twice, where many pieces would have required little or no restoration. Even with this conservative approach it was found that the absolute emissions associated with the old chest including restoration, storage and transport were significantly lower.

The lifespan of the antique piece was assumed to be 195 years, though it could be much longer. Once this was taken into account, its average emissions per year were shown to be 16 times less than those for the modern chest. The lifespan of the new chest was estimated at 15 years based on expert opinion.
To read the complete ATG article, click HERE, and to read the Carbon Clear report, click HERE.

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