While most people think it’s impossible to be eco-friendly yet remain stylish, eco-furniture companies have now made it possible and much easier.
Eco-friendly furniture companies have invented functional ways to create pieces with sustainably sourced materials that suits any décor.
Any environmentally-conscious consumer can now create a beautiful home with eco-friendly furniture that matches their design patterns.
If you are looking to learn more about sustainable furniture, you have come to the right page.
In this text, we will discuss the meaning of eco-friendly furniture, why you should invest in them, and some tips for choosing the best sustainable furniture.
What is Sustainable or Eco-Friendly Furniture?
Sustainable furniture is furniture that is created in a method that has fewer negative effects on the environment.
Eco-friendly furniture is based on the closed-loop system of recycling.
This means that the wood used in making sustainable furniture is obtained from renewable sources.
Additionally, any chemicals used in the manufacturing process of sustainable furniture are safe and do not pollute the environment.
Generally, sustainable furniture is used to describe any furniture that is created from recycled items.
They ensure minimum rubbish and reduce the need to burn costly energies needed to create furniture from virgin resources.
Eco-friendly furniture materials include various resources such as recycled and reclaimed woods, non-toxic lacquers, LED lights, and more.
The focus of sustainable furniture companies is to design furniture that can be reused, dissembled, and reused again. They also aim at minimizing the environmental impact of their products.
However, most people often overlook the importance of buying eco-furniture and the environmental impacts of other furnishings.
If you believe in conserving the environment, then this green living is one of the best ways to do it.
Why Invest in Eco-Friendly Furniture?
While sustainable furniture is a great way to conserve the environment, many people are still curious to learn how they can benefit from using eco-furniture.
Making any piece of furniture requires several types of resources, which are usually natural materials.
Whether you want to furnish your house or office, there are many reasons you should invest in eco-friendly furniture. Here are some of them:
1. To Minimize the Use of Materials That Are Harmful to Your Health
Initially, furniture was mainly made of solid wood and assembled with small pieces of metal. But in the past few years, the construction market has encountered dramatic growth.
In an attempt to find cheaper and easy-to-work-on materials, manufacturers and designers have invented new ways of making cheap furniture easily and quickly.
Modern furniture often contains processed and composite materials such as chipboard, fiberboard.
However, these materials pose many risks to human health and the environment, especially when used excessively.
Normal furniture also has a high number of chemicals that may be harmful to your family’s health.
“One of the most common chemicals is formaldehyde, which has been scientifically associated with some forms of diseases like cancer.”
This information was source from cancer.org.
Other chemicals cause irritations, hormonal changes, and breathing problems for children and adults.
Investing in sustainable furniture will help solve these issues and keep your family healthy and comfortable.
2. Sustainable Furniture Saves you Money
Sustainable furniture may seem expensive at first but is much cost-saving in the long run.
There are many cheaper chairs in the market. However, not all these are meant to last for long.
Many of them will wear down in just two years, and you have to think about buying others.
Sustainable furniture is a guarantee of durability. You invest in them knowing they will last for several years before you can consider replacing them.
3. Eco Furniture Helps in Conserving the Environment
Sustainable furniture has a very minimal impact on the environment. The wood used in making sustainable furniture is made from renewable and recycled materials. This practice reduces the dependence on trees for wood.
The chemicals used in the manufacture of this furniture are also made from recycled materials that could otherwise harm the environment.
Sustainable furniture will last for a long time. Other types of furniture will wear down and will most likely be dumped in the environment.
If the materials of the furniture were made from non-biodegradable materials, they would harm the environment.
4. To Prevent Deforestation
Deforestation is cutting down trees to create space for settlement, agriculture, and other activities like mining. Many trees are cut every year for timber used in the construction of houses and manufacture of furniture.
Finding an eco-friendly alternative to obtain timber will play a big part in reducing deforestation.
Sustainable furniture is made from recycled materials from the environment. When you buy sustainable furniture, you are reducing the dependence on trees for timber.
5. Buying Sustainable is a Long-Term Investment
People do prefer a product that they can sell when they longer need them. For instance;
You can buy a set of furniture for your house and sell it when you want to move to a bigger house, then buy bigger furniture that will fit and match the décor of your new house.
If you buy sustainable furniture, it will remain strong and in good shape for a long time. During resale, it will most probably fetch a good amount of money.
If you bought a cheaper chair, it would wear down after a short time. You will have a hard time finding someone interested to buy them. Even if they are in good shape, people tend to buy durable second-hand furniture.
How to Find Eco-Friendly Furniture
Furnishing your house with eco-friendly furniture is one of the practical ways to make a difference in your impact on the planet.
But there are many furniture options that make it difficult to know the best green and eco-friendly features.
Therefore, it’s vital to learn how to find eco-friendly furniture that can improve your home or office design while still conserving the environment.
Below are some tips to guide you when choosing eco-furniture.
Top 10 Tips for Choosing Eco-Friendly Furniture
1. Invest in Heirloom Quality Furniture
Heirloom quality furniture is furniture that can be passed down from generation to generation rather than poorly made furniture that lasts only for a few years.
In most cases, you will find that quality and well-made furniture can last for many years without losing value or attractiveness.
If something is built for extended durability, it reduces the chance of ending up in the landfill.
Eco-furniture may be expensive initially but will save you from buying furniture often.
It’s wise to spend a little more on sustainable furniture as it will last longer and save both you and the environment in the long run.
2. Buy Flexible Furniture and Adopt a Minimal Mentality
It’s a bad idea to have a huge and heavy sofa that can cost you even more to move it to a new house, even more than the cost of buying a new one.
In contemporary days, everyone wants to be flexible and live with less. Adopt a minimal mentality and think about buying smaller and lighter furniture.
Folding furniture design is also trending due to its convenience. You can easily put it away whenever you don’t need it or when you want more space. For instance;
You can purchase practical and multipurpose dining tables that have drop leaves so you can fold them down when alone.
A multipurpose low stool can be used as a side table and as another seat.
Having less but quality and flexible furniture will help you cut back on your contributing waste, which will reduce your carbon footprint.
3. Buy Certified Sustainable Wood
While trees play a primary role in maintaining the earth’s balance, deforestation and other unsustainable harvest methods have crumpled this natural resource.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen, which is very crucial for human survival. They also hold the soil together to prevent erosion, and not to mention they provide habitat for animals and other plants.
Since the planet needs more trees than ever, practices that require more wood and lead to deforestation are not good.
Fortunately, there is always an earth-friendly way to make any piece of furniture.
When investing in furniture, go for wooden furniture made from sustainably harvested forests, farms, and reclaimed wood.
Consider buying the products that are certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This ensures that the woods that’s being used have been harvested in sustainable ways.
4. Invest in Products Made with Recycled Materials
Recycling materials requires minimum processing and fewer resources than what’s needed for producing virgin materials.
Buying any home or office furniture made from recycled materials helps support and promote the recycling market.
It’s essential to know what recycled materials mean. For instance, Products certified Cradle to Cradle, such as certified office chairs from Herman Miller and Steelcase, are recyclable.
Avoid products that are ‘monstrous hybrids,’ which can’t be disassembled and recycled fittingly.
5. Find Pieces That Can Be Recycled
Good sustainable furniture should be easily repaired or recyclable to produce other useful products and conserve the environment.
Go for products manufactured with recyclable materials and can be taken apart easily for recycling once they are not usable anymore.
Investing in dissemblable and recyclable furniture will help keep them out of the landfill as they can be remade and re-purposed.
6. Go for Bamboo Furniture
Bamboo is a grass with no woody materials on its stem and is super sustainable. Unlike most trees, bamboo grows fast and is easy to work with.
It’s an extremely durable and versatile material that can be constructed into furniture, flooring, veneers, window blinds, and more.
Most Bamboo is grown in China with few or no pesticides, but it does use a lot of water.
So, it’s important to keep in mind that harvesting too much bamboo too fast can deplete soil fertility.
Depending on the supplier, some bamboo products are pieced together with glue that may contain formaldehyde. Hence, you will want to know your supplier well.
7. Find Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood refers to processed wood that is retrieved from its original application. Furniture that uses reclaimed wood recycled wood from old buildings, fences, or furniture.
Using reclaimed wood reduces the demand for newly sourced wood, which further helps curb deforestation.
Wood is a durable material that can last for decades, and so re-purposing, it is an excellent way of maximizing resource efficiency.
You can use reclaimed wood for both interior and exterior projects, including cladding, flooring, making furniture, and so on.
8. Low Toxicity
Some of the materials used to make furniture are processed with chemicals that continue to release harmful substances into the environment.
While everything off-gasses, some materials produce harmful gases, and others produce unharmful gases, depending on how they are treated.
The most common toxic chemicals from furniture include formaldehyde and flame retardants.
That being so, Greenguard certified non-toxic furniture like Knoll and Herman Miller to ensure that low furniture chemicals are released into the air.
The best way to avoid toxic off-gassing is to invest in furniture that has been left untreated or treated with natural substances.
9. Buy Flame Retardant-Free Furniture
Along with off-gassing, furniture with flame retardants is not the best for conserving the environment.
Flame retardants are powders that can get mixed in with dust and pet dandruff around the house.
There are some claims that flame retardants are meant to keep people safe, but there is no sufficient proof for that.
Instead, they release toxic fumes into the air. If you want to preserve the environment, choose wool or natural latex, and avoid products built with foam.
10. Research Before Buying
When buying sustainable furniture, it’s essential to do your research to ensure that you get the right environmentally-friendly products.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the things you don’t understand. Be sure to find out where the wood in your furniture comes from and the chemicals used to treat it.
Investing in eco-friendly furniture is one of the most efficient ways to conserve and secure the environment.
It doesn’t only help maintain a healthy and practical ecosystem but keeps your family healthy and saves you money in the long haul.
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