Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

How to buy environmentally friendly furniture for the home

Make your home a healthier place whilst also doing your bit for the environment by purchasing environmentally friendly furniture. Green furniture doesn’t usually look any different from other furniture, but there are clear differences in the way it has been manufactured. In this article we will talk you through how to go about buying environmentally friendly furniture for your home.

Bamboo furniture
Bamboo is a sustainable resource and an excellent choice for furniture.
Image source: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8530/8451557921_146faf8f0c.jpg

Different furniture finishes

If you are on the lookout for environmentally friendly furniture then you will need to find out more information about the different types of furniture finishes available. It is best to stay clear from finishes that contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. This chemical is found in glue which is used in the manufacturing of furniture made from fibreboard and plywood. You should also look out for furniture which claims to have ‘stain resistant’ upholstery. The chemical that is used to make the fabric stain resistant is known as Teflon. The problem with this chemical is that it contains perflurorchemicals which can break down into a harmful blood contaminant called perfluorooctanoic acid.

Bamboo furniture

Although bamboo is a grass and not a wood, it gives off a lovely natural finish, much like wood. Bamboo furniture is environmentally friendly as it is not grown with any pesticides. It also grows rapidly, making it a very sustainable resource.

Reclaimed wood furniture

Another environmentally friendly resource is reclaimed wood. This is usually wood that has been reclaimed from buildings, construction sites and structures like bridges. It is extremely sought after as it usually has a rich patina and stunning natural finish. Due to its aesthetical qualities, the price of reclaimed wood furniture can often be quite high.

Look out for the FSC logo

When shopping for eco-friendly furniture, look out for the FSC logo. This is a certification given by The Forest Stewardship Council to eco-friendly furniture manufacturers. In order to get this certification the manufacturer must comply with the FSC’s requirements for harvesting wood. If you purchase a piece of furniture that features the FSC logo you will be able to trace back to where the wood was originally harvested. If you are unsure of which manufacturers are FSC certified it is best to have a look online.

Environmentally friendly furniture
Environmentally friendly furniture will make your home a healthier and happier place.
Image source: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2315/2530785668_c4c28c12c2.jpg

Buy from a local manufacturer

The food industry encourages us to buy local to reduce our carbon footprint and this is something you can do when buying furniture too! Look online to find out where your nearest furniture manufacturer is. If they do not have anything suitable for your home, then check out local craft fairs and car boot sales.

Make your own furniture

If you enjoy getting a little creative, then why not have a go at making your own furniture? Don’t worry – you don’t have to start from scratch! Simply purchase antique or vintage furniture from local craft fairs and charity shops. You can then use eco-friendly paints and finishes to upcycle your furniture and give it a brand new leash of life. By pro-longing the life of a piece of furniture, you are essentially saving another tree from being cut down. You can upcycle pretty much any piece of furniture if you have the time and patience. Look for simple tutorials online!

Conclusion

If you are looking for new furniture for your home, then why not consider purchasing environmentally friendly pieces? Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment but you will also be making your home a happier and healthier place. When furnishing homes with green furniture, look out for the FSC symbol and always check what chemicals have been used during the manufacturing process.

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