When it comes to making your home environmentally friendly, the furniture you choose is just as important as important as the lights you put in or the appliances you pick out. Green design has come a long way, but there are some tips and tricks to look out for to help you get the best deal anywhere, whether it’s at the thrift shop or the boutique. Follow this advice to get eco-friendly furniture for your home.
It’s the same logic with furniture as it is with clothes. If you’re buying a used product, you’re not paying for the manufacturing, environmentally speaking. Buying a flat pack piece straight off the factory line comes with the carbon impact of having that piece produced. Getting a piece that’s already been made, though, means that no new emissions are going into the atmosphere and no new waste is being created for the sake of your furnishings. Plus, buying used from specialty shops allows you to get one of a kind statement pieces that can add a lot of color, charm, and/or personality to your decor.
Reclaim and Recycle
If straight up used pieces aren’t your thing, then look for pieces made from reclaimed or recycled materials. Reclaimed wood is a huge statement in design right now, and is as multifunctional as it is fashionable. To that end, recycled metals and plastics often look like new once treated properly, and is becoming increasingly easy to find. Recycled materials require less overall resources to produce a functional end product, and for that reason they’re great pieces to add to your home.
Look At The Materials
It doesn’t have to be on its second life to be eco-friendly. Simply paying attention to materials can provide you with a more environmentally sound space. Certified sustainable wood is wood that has been harvested sustainably from monitored forests or tree farms. The Forest Stewardship Council does a great job certifying practices that control clear cutting.
Bamboo is another great material because it’s incredibly fast growing and super multi-functional. It can be used as flooring, window treatments, wallpaper, or in furniture. You may still want to keep an eye out for the other materials used in holding the bamboo pieces together, though. Some of the glues used contain formaldehyde.
Keep An Eye Out For Toxins
Furniture traditionally contains a lot of potentially toxic substances, but manufacturers are wising up these days. Today, companies are starting to produce non-toxic or low-toxin pieces that eliminate some or all of the more potentially harmful materials. Organic materials are one way to spot those with a mission to weed out toxins in their productions, but a close look at either the product description or the company’s mission statement can also tell you if what you’re looking at is really as green as it seems. Fire retardants are big time offenders, here, so finding pieces that aren’t treated with such is a good place to start.