We all share this beautiful planet called earth! And we all are equally responsible to save it by doing every little bit we can. The easiest way to do this is using eco friendly products. When it comes to our home decor, we can buy wood home furniture that is eco-friendly.
I’ll tell you how to go green with your furniture wood but before knowing some tips about buying eco friendly furniture, it is helpful to know in what ways furniture affects environment and how we can minimize this environmental pollution by going for green furniture?
What is Green Furniture?
We all know that furniture wood is a forest product. Many trees are harvested for getting that fine wood for your home and office furniture. However, green furniture is not green because it comes from forests but it is green in the sense of its being eco-friendly. Furniture is considered eco-friendly according to its impact on the environment.
How the wood is harvested and to what extent this contributes to forest depletion, whether it has eco-friendly upholstery on it, how much chemicals and toxic paints etc. are used in making them, how it will affect the surrounding air quality- all contribute in defining a furniture as eco friendly.
When a wood furniture causes minimum deforestation, uses non toxic materials for finishes and do not pollute the home environment, it is called an eco-friendly wood furniture.
How to Buy Eco-friendly Furniture?
Here are certain tips on how to buy green furniture? Follow them and be a responsible and proud earth dweller.
- Buy FSC-certified woods. They are researched and certified as socially and environmentally harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This council is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization which works for promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.
- Buy reclaimed and recycled wood products. Many wood furniture manufacturers reuse discarded furniture and lumber.
- Refrain from buying endangered woods. Select furniture made from “secondary species” which are less depleted. These species include sweetgum, madrone, and California oak.
- Buy lower grade woods as lesser timber is needed to produce a low-grade wood product than a high-grade product. Many low-grade woods are rated low just because they show knots and streaks.
- Ask the manufacturer, where and how the wood was harvested.
- Particleboard, plywood, and other pressed woods contain formaldehyde, a possible carcinogen leading to poor air quality in your home and office. As such, avoid pressed woods and go for second-hand solid wood, or FSC-certified new wood pieces.
- Do your furniture shopping at antique stores, garage sales, and thrift stores where you can find furniture made from solid wood.
- Buy furniture made from rubberwood. It is very sustainable and one of the most eco-friendly lumber used by the modern furniture industry. Most of the other woods are obtained from trees that are cut down just to make furniture. However, rubberwood is harvested only after it completes the cycle of producing latex and dies for about 18-25 years before dying.
- Buy those furniture pieces that are finished with nontoxic paints, stains and varnishes.
- Buy bamboo furniture. Bamboo grows fast and is able to replenish itself quickly. This makes it eco-friendly option for furniture making.
- Buy locally made furniture to reduce the pollution created from shipping them long distances. If any how you want to buy a furniture that is made in a particular region, you can buy it from local retailer and help in cutting down on transport.
- If you find eco-friendly furniture costly, start small. Don’t try to change all your home furniture at once. Buy small pieces initially and buy one by one as and when you can manage to spend on expensive furniture. Also you can first buy something having only one sustainable component such as reclaimed wood but treated with a conventional stain and finish. These are less expensive and you can find them easily. Additionally, you can choose unfinished wood and finish it yourself with eco-friendly products.