Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

Home Furnishing The Green Way

People choose the furnishings that reflect their tastes and beliefs. So it would follow that a green home owner would naturally be drawn to pieces of furniture made of natural materials.

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However, it can sometimes be more expensive if you adopt a ‘green materials only’ attitude to decorating your home. A lot of cheap furniture is cheap because it is mass produced and manufactured without using the most eco-friendly materials.

But, with the increased popularity and market demand for more environmentally friendly products, it is true that the price of eco-friendly furniture has begun to fall in recent years.

There are certain things to look out for when searching for eco-friendly furniture. For example, if you’ve spotted a nice leather sofa that you’d like in your living room, you need to find out how it was produced. Most furniture stores are pretty good at providing information on the supply chain and its environmental standards – if asked.

As well as asking about the leather itself, find out where the wood comes from, and whether it’s from a renewable source. Also ask about the materials that make up the cushioning in the sofa. Are the cushions made with soy or natural latex foam? These materials are much better for the environment than the traditional sofa cushion filling made with polyurethane foam. This comes from a petrol base, but is cheap, keeps a good shape and wears well – hence its predominance in sofa cushion manufacturing.

Soy based foam is a better environmental option as the crop is renewable. However, it’s often blended with polyurethane foam, because it smells too pungent on its own, so it’s a halfway house environmentally speaking.
The best green option for sofa cushions is natural latex. However, as a material this is very expensive so it will push the price of the sofa up accordingly. Check the labels carefully, as many natural latex foam cushions are actually blended with man-made latex to bring the price down. However, man-made latex is not so great on environmental standards.

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