When asked, most people will say that they care about the environment. Even deniers of climate change will tell you that clean air and water matter, but it is not easy being green.
Being green involves a certain level of self-sacrifice: you ride your bike or take the bus instead of driving; you sort your trash; you compost your waste. Reducing your carbon footprint takes effort and some inconvenience which is something we tend to not like doing.
But antiques are green! Normally, when we conjure up the image of an antique collector in our heads, we see a fussy, conservative, older person in a sprawling estate (dare I say, an old school Republican), not someone who cares about the environment. To be fair, that kind of collector is probably not thinking about the environment, but those of us who do care can take page from their book.
Antiques are green for several reasons. First, they were made a long time ago. Whatever resources the antique consumed are long gone: no new tree was cut down; no new iron was mined; no new chemicals were manufactured. The antique does not consume any new materials. Even recycling creates a carbon footprint, albeit a smaller one, because the material still has to be processed and turned into something else. Antiques are not reprocessed. This is the ultimate recycling.
Second, antiques last a long time. If a sturdy desk is already 200 years old, chances are that you will own that desk for the rest of your life and never need to replace it, as opposed to new, cheaply made furniture that falls apart in a few years. Think about how much energy and money can be saved by buying quality pieces that do not need to be replaced. Antiques are better made and built to last.
Third, antiques tend to not travel as far. Yes, some dealers go to Europe and fill a container full and ship it back to the US. That transportation creates carbon, but the desk from Ikea had to be shipped from somewhere too. But most dealers source the majority of their stock within 100 miles of their home.
Finally, antiques involve no sacrifice. This is the one way to be green and indulge yourself too. An antique is a luxury that actually helps save the planet.