As we become more and more aware of the environment and take bigger strides to protect it, the idea of purchasing sustainable furniture is becoming more popular. Another name for sustainable furniture, that you might be more familiar with, is eco-friendly furniture.
Choosing sustainable items for our homes carries several advantages. For a start, it stops deforestation of wooded areas. Despite our need for trees to help produce the oxygen we need to breathe, thousands of trees are cut down each year to make different products, including furniture, thus making deforestation a serious issue. If you just look at your own home and all the wooden furniture in it, you can imagine just how much wood is used to make these items all around the world! Sustainable furniture also has minimum impact on the environment, which is another reason why more homes are opting for it. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually more affordable than other types of furniture since it’s made from recycled material. Moreover, it’s attractive and stylish and you’ll definitely find statement pieces or sets that reflect your style and eco-friendly way of thinking.
Eco-friendly furniture is made from materials that have certain characteristics to it. So let’s find out more about it.
Anything that is made from materials that has previously been used for something else, maybe then reused in the making of new furniture. The list of eco-friendly material is long and diverse. You’ll find furniture built from recycled plastic, as well as, cork, rubber, wood, and straw; to mention a few. A favorite material used, suggested by the furniture experts at https://www.moderndigsfurniture.com/bamboo-furniture.html, is bamboo because it’s fast-growing and easy to replace which makes it one of the most sustainable plants on earth. Bamboo plants grow to maturity in just 5 years, compared to 70 years for oak trees. This makes it an extremely sustainable material. Bamboo can be used for all types of furniture, be it a comfortable bedroom set, to a stunning, modern, sleek dining room, to outdoor patio sets and anything in between.
You still might want an attractive piece of wood furniture which isn’t impossible to have when going Green as much as possible in your furniture, but you want to make sure the wood type being used is all natural and carcinogen-free. Carcinogen is a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue. It could be found in tanned leather, wood furniture, and in certain dyes and pigments used in textiles, and cement.
A great option for wooden furniture would be reclaimed wood. This gives new life to wood salvaged from barns, warehouses and other sources that would otherwise go to waste.
Polywood is another fantastic, sustainable material used mostly in outdoor furniture. It’s constructed of recycled plastics like milk jugs and detergent bottles, making it very eco-friendly. It’s also extremely durable; it won’t warp, fade, crack, split or deteriorate. Plus, you have countless colors to choose from.
Using the right material is only a part of making eco-friendly furniture. Another part is employing the best sustainable manufacturing practices. If the manufacturing process is not safe for the environment, then we can hardly consider the furniture to be eco-friendly. As a starting point, since many buildings and home owners are requesting furniture that is produced with a minimal impact on the environment, this has led to manufacturers taking noteworthy steps to ensure the products they offer use less material and can be more easily updated, thus extending their lives. Regarding furniture, a sustainable approach starts at the design stage. Products that are designed to use less materials and consume less energy in the manufacturing process, that are built to last, and that can be easily recycled, are fundamentally more sustainable than others. This means that manufacturers should check carbon emissions, and make sure that they do not pollute the environment. They should practice fair trade and not harm communities or damage the environment in order to collect material for their products.
Besides the resources and energy used to create new items of furniture, consideration needs to be given to the packaging, which is often the paper and plastic that goes straight to landfills. Part of this process also includes how the furniture is transported. If you are interested in a piece of furniture, and interested in doing your part of protecting the environment, you should know where that piece comes from and how it was made. Companies that are doing their part, transport their goods efficiently and do not use excessive space and energy during transport.
Companies that do cater to eco-friendly aware, customers have several things in mind, such as environmentally friendly manufacturing, environmentally friendly packaging, and facilitating disposability and recyclability. It’s noteworthy to mention that the more local you buy, the more you will be helping.
Eco-friendly tough questions to ask
When you go around shopping for new furniture, don’t shy away from asking salespeople what the furniture is made of. As a consumer taking a look at local furniture stores, keep a few key questions in mind for salespeople. For example, ask if the piece you’re interested to purchase contains formaldehyde, flame retardants, or stain resistant sprays. You’ve probably read at one point or another that your sofa, and a lot of your other furniture, is bad for your health. In large part, this is due to the flame retardant chemicals which all upholstered items are doused with. This is particularly true if your upholstered furniture is more than a few years old. It almost certainly contains a flame retardant chemical.
Other questions you can ask is if the fabric used has at least 70% of fibers derived from organic sources. Also check to know that the piece in question does not contain chemical dyes or other sorts of additives.
You would also want to know if the furniture is easy to disassemble into reusable or recyclable parts if it needs to be replaced when needed.
Adding style, function, and consciousness
There is a variety of affordable, eco-friendly furniture options available for your home and office. You can build the eco-friendly home of your dreams with stylish lines of sustainable furniture, from floating shelves, to couches, closets, and anything else. Check for companies and manufactures which employ a responsible manufacturing process. You’ll enjoy living in the comfort of your home more knowing you’re supporting the environment while also finding unique pieces of furniture that are elegant, eye-catching, and long lasting.