The majority of this world’s original forests have already been chopped down to extinction and more forests are disappearing each year in the tens of millions of acres. Toxic gases are being released into our already fragile atmosphere and commercial waste is being dumped into the environment. Positive environmental impact can be felt from each person who says “no” and chooses to buy eco-friendly furniture instead. Your decision to buy eco-friendly furniture can contribute toward making this world a better place for future generations.
Many furniture sellers are now choosing to use recycled, restored or repurposed materials in the manufacture of their furniture. From formaldehyde-free finishes to 100% natural materials, it is now easier than ever before to buy eco-friendly furniture! And with this 21st century generation so much more eco-conscious than its predecessors, we can only see eco-friendly furniture becoming a growing trend in future decades to come.
When shopping for eco-friendly wood furniture, you obviously want to check that the source of the wood material is ethically sourced. By looking out for wood furniture that carries the FSC logo (Forest Stewardship Council logo), you can ensure that the wood used to manufacture the furniture product was harvested from sustainable forests as per FSC’s certification requirements. The Forest Stewardship Council is an international organisation that is non-profit and works to encourage ethical forestry while protecting biodiversity and the habitat of wildlife. With FSC certified furniture, you can even trace back the furniture materials to where the wood was harvested.
Bamboo furniture can be a great (and visually stunning!) alternative to regular wood furniture. Due to the fast-growing nature and sustainability of bamboo, bamboo isn’t usually treated with the pesticides you would expect from usual forestry making it a great choice for eco-friendly furniture.
Upholstered products will carry a label mentioning its organic properties if the product contains them. So eco-friendly upholstery tends to be reasonably easy to shop for. Be aware though that organic cotton and wool will naturally be more expensive to buy than their artificial counterparts. But you can rest assured knowing that no harmful chemicals are contained in your upholstery!
The most eco-friendly decision you could make when buying furniture is by choosing to furnish your home with second hand or vintage products. Though not for everyone, by recycling and reusing second hand furniture you are saving energy by not contributing to the manufacture of brand new wood products. You can find a lot of furniture companies these days that exclusively buy reclaimed wood that would otherwise go to waste to produce brand new furniture products. One bit of wood could effectively be reused and reincarnated from a house scaffold to a door to a dining table.
One of the benefits of buying pre-loved furniture is that they are usually pre-offgassed too. Pretty much everything offgasses, which means it releases substances into the air. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the material is natural or organic. But with synthetic materials or substances, the toxic chemicals that are offgassed can be harmful to us and the environment. With second hand furniture, not only are you saving the world’s resources by reusing materials but chances are that the furniture has offgassed its most toxic chemicals (depending on its age, of course).