Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

Green furnishings for your home

When choosing furniture for your home, if you live a green lifestyle then it’s natural that you should think about the green credentials of pieces of furniture you might buy.

Many of today’s cushions on things like recliner sofas are greener than they used to be – thanks to the development by sofa manufacturers of using a blend of soya foam and polyurethane foam. Obviously, soya foam on its own would be better than mixing it with polyurethane, but so far, the manufacturers have yet to find a way to disguise the rather strong odour that soya foam has.

The best green option for sofa cushion filling is latex foam, as this is derived from the rubber tree, so it’s the most natural material. However, it is also the most expensive as rubber trees are relatively scarce. Most inexpensive furniture, including things like a cheap dining table, will not be made using the greenest materials, which explains the better prices. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to buy green, but any gesture that you can make in other ways to help the planet is a way of offsetting areas where you can’t.

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For instance, just by planting a native tree in your garden you will increase the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2,268 kg a year. Plant two and you double your contribution!

Another way you can help the planet while remodelling your home is to buy second hand furniture or ‘antiques’. Go to any boot fair or second hand furniture store and you’re bound to see a few wooden pieces at bargain prices. They may not look great when you see them, but check if they’re made with real wood, and with a little elbow grease you can restore them to their former glory. Re-using old furniture means that you are not contributing to the demands on our limited resources of new wood, thus helping the earth’s forests just a little bit more than simply going to buy new.

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