Buying greener furniture is better for the environment, us and the world as a whole and we’ve compiled some tips on how to do just that.
Furniture Made Using Reclaimed Materials
One of the biggest advantages of using wood for furniture is that it not just looks good but it is also highly durable. In simple terms, it means that even if one does not take proper care of wood, it is still going to last a very long time. You should take advantage of this and buy furniture that has been made using reclaimed wood. There are a lot of designers making furniture using reclaimed wood.
Most of the reclaimed wood is reclaimed from old houses, old furniture, factory scraps and other such stuff. Sometimes logs sink in the rivers in the process of being transported to the sawmill. Some of the reclaimed wood also comes from such logs and from the sunken logs in some man-made reservoirs.
Irrespective of the source of the reclaimed foot, furniture made in this manner is one of the best examples of using this resource in an efficient manner. The Rainforest Alliance recommends looking for wood certification label to find out whether it is reclaimed wood.
This infographic from on how oakwood furniture is made showcases the process of making furniture very well.
Making Use of Bamboo
Many people are aware of the fact that Bamboo is a grass and not a tree. However, the truth is that it is a family of grasses with sizes ranging from tiny to huge and colors ranging from maroon stripes to lime green.
It grows extremely fast and has a number of uses which is why it has become one of the poster materials for environmentally conscious builders and designers. Bamboo has many uses including flooring, furniture, blinds, veneers and some people make their whole house out of bamboo.
Easy to Disassemble and Recycle
One of the properties of green furniture is that it can be easily recycled, repaired and disassembled. For instance, office chairs made by Steelcase and Herman Miller are certified as C2C (Cradle to Cradle) by MBDC.
Such products can be easily disassembled into constituent parts that makes recycling easy when they are past their useful lives. Therefore, you should stay away from products that cannot be easily separated. Also, if a product cannot be easily disassembled it usually means that it cannot be repaired.
Buy Furniture That Is Flexible and Durable
Many people looking to buy green products especially green furniture mostly tend to overlook the durability aspect. However, it is extremely important as far as eco-friendliness is concerned. Products that can be easily repaired and are durable mean that there is less chance of those products ending up in the landfill which means that they can also save a lot of money over the years even if they cost a bit more initially.
Furniture made of recyclable materials that cannot be fixed needs a lot of energy to replace those materials. However, goods that last a long time can be given to another person easily. For instance, even if you do not like the kitchen table in your house anymore and want to get rid of it, some other person may find it to be good and we want to have it.
However, this is only true in case the kitchen table is made of high quality material. There are many websites including Freecycle, Craigslist and others where you can list such products to help them find a new home.
Flexibility and Efficiency Is the Key
If you take a close look at the furniture items that people in older generations were using, you will find that those furniture items used to be extremely heavy. However, things have changed a lot and these days it is not difficult to find furniture that is not just lightweight but is also smaller and easy to fold. Investing in such furniture means that you can easily put it away when you no longer need it.
For instance, you may have dining tables with drop leaves that allow you to fold part of the table when you do not need that much space on the table. Similarly, there are coffee tables that can be easily transformed to dining tables when needed.