There are so many growing concerns about the environment that sustainability has become a very big topic. One thing that we can do to preserve our planet is to practice sustainability with your furniture. It doesn’t take much effort and if you’re reading through to the end of this article then you will have already learned how to shop for sustainable furniture.
What is sustainable, eco-friendly furniture?
Eco-friendly furniture is also referred to as sustainable because it is furniture that does not harm the environment. There are many types of eco-friendly furniture but typically they fall under this category if they are made from recycled material and/or renewable energy.
Sustainable furniture takes into account the entire process of how the furniture is made. The entire process starts the moment materials are harvested and collected right up to the furniture items being shipped and sold in stores. The method of transportation, the material used in shipping and just about every aspect of production is taken into consideration.
What should you look for when seeking eco-friendly furniture?
Finding eco-friendly furniture is incredibly easy when you know what to look for during your research and shopping. Consider looking for eco-friendly material, certifications, functionality, and written documentation on the manufacturing process.
1. Eco-friendly material
One of the fastest growing types of eco-friendly furniture is made from recycled plastics. This furniture is incredibly strong, lasts a lifetime and is actually made from items you would throw into your recycling bin.
Recycled plastic patio furniture items are built to last a lifetime and are well known for their durability, comfort and easy maintenance. You can spray paint old chairs to look like new, extending the brilliance of your kids’ muskoka chair. You may recognize products like Muskoka chairs or Adirondack chairs as they have been extremely popular selections for backyards, cottages and patios.
Another eco-friendly material is furniture made from bamboo, which grows quickly and can be replenished much easier than wood from trees.
One of the most important aspects of using sustainable material is also the process in which it is made. It’s extremely important to avoid producing harmful Volatile Organic Compound emissions. Recycled plastics are a prime example of a material that emits no VOCs and therefore is a fan-favorite as eco-friendly furniture.
2. Cradle to cradle certification
This type of certification ensures the buyer of the validity of your furniture being eco-friendly and made using sustainable practices. The certificate covers the factors such as eco-friendly materials, water use, renewable energy, shipping and manufacturing and details the impact that the product has on our earth and its inhabitants.
Not all products come with this certification but if you can find one but many manufacturers are adding this to the sustainable products they produce.
3. Durability of design
The shelf life of your furniture plays a big part in determining its sustainability. The longer life a piece of furniture has, the less space it will take up in landfills over time.
Can you imagine if you had to replace your couch every year? There would literally be landfills reserved strictly for sofas. Sounds like a comfy place but this would be extremely bad news since it would generate an enormous amount of waste.
The longer your furniture lasts, the better off we all are. Recycled plastic furniture accomplishes this goal with flying colors.
4. Sustainable manufacturing processes
The process in which furniture is made can have a massive impact on our environment. Just because a material is considered eco-friendly doesn’t mean that the product can be considered sustainable.
Manufacturers who do not harm the environment in any way are considered to practice sustainability. That includes the way materials are gathered, processed, packaged and shipped. You can look for certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council to confirm whether a manufacturer is approved for sustainable practices.
Go green and buy eco-friendly furniture
There you have it. You now know the most important aspects of how to shop for sustainable furniture. Do your part and make our future a brighter, cleaner earth by putting a priority on eco-friendly practices.
Article Submitted By Community Writer