Most homeowners who are trying to be eco-friendly think that living green is all about recycling and cutting down on waste in general. They may stop using paper and plastic products, or make an effort to improve how water is used in the home.
Such efforts are all good and well, but they are just the basics.
These habits open your eyes to other ways you can be eco-friendly in the home, like getting new furniture or better, energy-saving lighting and appliances. You may have heard of the latter, but have you ever thought about getting eco-friendly furniture?
This one investment can do wonders for your going green efforts.
Here’s the complete guide you’ll need when shopping for eco-friendly furniture.
The Basics of Eco-Friendly Furniture
Furniture made with sustainability in mind comes in all shapes and sizes.
You can get a couch that is eco-friendly, a bed frame, or even a mattress. These options are available in a wide range of materials, colors, and styles.
The materials are what matter most, though.
Certified Sustainable Wood
Most of the time, furniture made out of wood is the result of mass production. It encourages deforestation – which does a significant amount of damage on the planet.
But, eco-friendly furniture helps offset this situation and its consequences. The wood for such pieces comes from sustainably harvested forests. These are specific areas of land where trees get planted and harvested without causing damage to wildlife or neighboring communities.
The use of such forests means you can still get the beautiful rustic look you’ve been dreaming of for your home, and still do some good for the environment.
Bamboo looks like a type of wood to some people, and has a strength comparable to wood, but it is actually a grass. This plant grows much faster than a sustainable forest would, and farmers can harvest it with less environmental damage.
However, there are a few things to be aware of when shopping for this kind of eco-friendly furniture.
Some farms plant bamboo with pesticides and fertilizers that are chemically-based and harmful to the soil. Others harvest too fast as new bamboo grows, without giving the land proper time to rest.
As a result, it is your job to make sure the bamboo for your furniture is sourced in an environmentally-friendly manner. Also, be sure to check how the furniture is put together. Some bamboo designers make bamboo furniture with glue that has potentially harmful chemicals.
The Use Recycled Materials
Instead of looking for sustainable wood or beautiful bamboo, you may opt to buy furniture made out of recycled material. This could mean all kinds of things!
Some recycled materials include cotton and other fabric that can be woven into gorgeous furniture accents. Others may be recycled metal or plastic that become lovely, sturdy frames for eco-friendly furniture, like the beds at Modern Digs.
Whatever kind of material you prefer, though, make sure you can take your furniture apart. This ensures easy repairs, should you ever need to do one.
More so, furniture that can be taken apart can go through recycling again.
Be on the lookout for pieces that say they are “recyclable”, too. This means the piece you’re buying has virgin material and it is your job to recycle it. It’s not necessarily something that comes made with eco-friendly practices.
Recycling Your Furniture After Usage
Speaking of recycling your furniture, you should know that this is not the same as taking your glass and plastic to the local recycling center. To make the end of your furniture’s lifespan as easy as possible, shop for the right things during purchasing.
The easiest furniture pieces to recycle are those that are C2C certified. C2C stands for Cradle 2 Cradle – a method of design focused on making upcycling easier and more effective for consumers as well as the environment.
Know Where to Buy: Eco-Friendly Home Goods Stores
Knowing what to look for when you’re shopping for eco-friendly furniture makes it easy to find environmentally-friendly pieces in any furniture store. This means you can go to your local, nation-wide retailer and try to find something sustainable.
To make your search even easier, though, go straight to a retailer that is entirely eco-friendly. Never heard of one for furniture before?
Here are three to consider using when furnishing your home.
Anton Doll is the perfect store for anyone who loves wood furniture.
Each piece is hand-crafted by artisan designers in Germany. They use only sustainable wood and create pieces that are unique and timeless.
It’s the ultimate blend of high-end design and eco-friendly practices.
Vermont Wood Studios
For something a little closer to home, check out Vermont Wood Studios.
VWS handles all of their production domestically – no outsourcing to other countries whatsoever. They plant a tree every time a new order is in, which is an easy way for you to support the environment beyond the efforts you make in your house!
Greenington Fine Bamboo Furniture
Greenington Fine Bamboo Furniture combines luxury with sustainability in a way that any homeowner with this furniture can be proud of.
They use selected harvesting to source every piece of bamboo that goes into a product. This ensures the best maintenance of the natural bamboo forest, as well as the ultimate quality of a piece of furniture.
Plus, the company uses 100% of the bamboo during production in order to make waste practically nonexistent. Even the sawdust has a purpose, which is pretty cool.
Green Furniture and Green Living
Investing in green furniture may take a little out of your wallet at first, but it gives so much back to your home and the environment.
You get the benefit of upgrading your interior design and knowing you’ve done something good for purposes that are bigger than yourself. The environment, in turn, gets to breathe a little easier and receive better care through your funding of companies that are conscious of the effects their business can have.
For more tips on green living at home, click here.