World Environment Day 5th June
In 1974 the United Nations designated the 5th June each year to be World Environment Day, with 143 countries now participating worldwide. Since its creation the day has acted as a focal point to raise awareness of emerging environmental issues, including global warming and sustainable consumption. The campaign is one of the United Nations' principal driving forces to encourage awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
The theme for World Environment Day 2019 is "Air Pollution" with the host nation being China. This year’s topic invites us all to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce, to thwart its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health. In celebration and support of the day we wanted to highlight how we at Shimu try to 'do our bit' in minimising use of the globe's precious resources.
As far as possible our newly made furniture, including our Chinese Classical, Chinese Country and Beijing Blue collections, is produced using reclaimed wood. Our suppliers work with timber that has been used before as old roof beams, floorboards and joists. This is sourced primarily from China’s northern provinces. With the huge construction boom in China’s towns and cities, there is no shortage of good quality timber to be taken from demolished buildings.
Using reclaimed wood has significant environmental benefits. Not only does it reduce the number of new trees being cut down for furniture production, but it also means that timber which otherwise might be burnt or put into land-fill is instead recycled. For our carpenters it also means that the wood is well seasoned as the buildings it is taken from are several decades old. The lower moisture content compared to new wood means that it is far less likely to move or crack when placed in a new evnironment after being used for furniture.
Antique Furniture - Reuse and Recycle
In what has become a throwaway society, buying vintage and antique furniture is an obvious way to make the most of precious resources. Rather than creating new furniture, particularly from new materials, it is far more environmentally friendly to restore and reuse pieces that were produced many years ago. Chinese antique and vintage furniture was built to last for decades, often handed down through generations, and has all the charm, history and character that comes with age.
Our selection of antique furniture includes beautiful statement pieces, with each item being carefully restored by skilled craftsmen. These unusual and characterful antiques can then last for many more years as heirloom pieces - a lovely way to make the most of scarce resources whilst enjoying these treasures in a modern home.
We import the vast majority of our products directly from suppliers in China and the Far East, but we do also offer selected furniture and accessories from suppliers in the UK. Where that is the case we are careful to choose companies that share our enthusiasm for ethical and eco-friendly products, such as those supplied by Nkuku. Nkuku's beautiful range of furniture, lighting, soft furnishings and accessories are produced using sustainable materials by artisans and small cooperatives around the world under their founding values of 'Ethical, Eco-Friendly and Handmade'.
We are fortunate to have plenty of natural light flooding in our showroom so we consciously use minimal lighting to promote energy efficiency. We fragrance our showroom with natural candles and diffusers made by ‘Melt’ who specialises in producing hand-made, fine fragrance candles of fabulous quality. Locally made in the north of Yorkshire from a variety of local raw materials and ingredients – you don’t even have to light them to enjoy the beautiful relaxing fragrances.
Recycling of packaging
As you can imagine we get through alot of packaging. We make sure we recycle and reuse as much of this as possible - with cardboard and other packing materials being recycled for our furniture or for sending out smaller items by courier. We also keep any wooden pallets and reuse these for crating any items we ship to customers overseas or to create simple display stands in our showroom.
We are all aware of the importance of recycling, reducing pollution and of trying to create a better environment. Some simple things we do here include:
- Cycling to work,
- Recycling milk cartons, coffee pods and other containers.
- Only printing out documents when absolutely necessary - our e-commerce and accounting systems mean that we now need to print out very little.
- Filling the kettle only with the required amount of water so as not to use unnecessary electricity!
- Using low energy lightbulbs in all of our lamps.
Visit the UN's website for more details about World Environment Day at https://www.un.org/en/events/environmentday/
Find out more about this year's theme of Air Pollution at https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/
Recycle Now is the national recycling campaign funded by Government, providing details recycling centre for a huge range of items https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with