Green Furniture Buying Guide
Some of us are super duper fussy when it comes to picking our furniture. Only the very best maple wood will do, right? Stainless steel kitchen appliances? Some of us don’t really have any interior design preferences and that’s okay, too. But regardless of whether you are a design buff or a flea market fan, you can choose green, sustainable furniture – whatever your budget.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that the furniture you buy is green and clean is to make sure that it’s certified sustainable. For wooden furniture, that means making sure that the wood comes from sustainable forests and tree farms, or that the wood used comes from reclaimed sources. The world needs more trees – it does not need us to cut down more trees when there are plenty of sustainable sources. So don’t contribute to chopping ’em down!
Buying either reclaimed furniture, or furniture that has been made with reclaimed materials is one of the easiest ways to go green. Scour flea markets, antique fairs and charity shops to bag a bargain – and to get something truly beautiful and unique. If wood is looked after and treated properly it can last for literally hundreds of years and typically, wooden furniture made during the Victorian era or earlier was made “properly” – as in, put together by hand, by experienced craftsmen will still be strong, sturdy and absolutely beautiful today. Plus, if you pick it up from a charity shop or a flea market it’ll be cheap as chips, too. Alternatively, look for furniture that has been upcycled, repurposed or designed with reclaimed materials.
Bamboo isn’t a wood, but that doesn’t really matter one bit. It’s incredibly strong and is one of the most flexible natural materials available to us, plus, it grows really quickly and is far easier to sustain than a forest. Although bamboo is a good choice, it isn’t the best as growing it does take a lot of energy.
Using Recycled Materials
Things like plastic and metal can easily be recycled, melted down and re-used to create entirely new pieces of furniture. For example, plastics can be melted down and poured into moulds to create furniture or home accessories and actually, metal can be used in much the same way. You might also have seen upcycled accessories and furniture pieces, like the clock made from a flattened, melted wine bottle to the fencing made from old wooden pallets.
Look for Recyclable Furniture
Nowadays, you can buy furniture which can easily be separated out into their respective recycling piles – metal screws, wooden doors and so on. When the furniture comes to the end of its natural life, you don’t have to worry about binning it or taking it to the garbage disposal.