Furniture unknowingly is a big part of our lives. Whether we choose to take note or not, furniture surrounds practically everywhere we go or are. In 2017, we are arguably at the most image conscious time in our history so picking the best furniture to suit the room has never been more of a thought-out decision. With that in mind, we have also never been as environmentally conscious as we are now, which means that choosing your furniture should now be about making environmentally savvy choices that will not only look good but make a big difference on your impact on the plant.
Below we have broken down the top tips for you in order to help you on your way with your search. It’s all about understanding the green concepts to identify cost and environmentally effective ways that you can contribute so take a look below and start your green furniture search today.
Let’s take wood as our example – A material which has a long lasting life. Whether it’s looked after or not, wood can be adapted and used in a sustainable manner rather than seeking the need to chop down more trees to get what we already have. This is a movement that a lot of designers are getting behind and as a result they are reclaiming wood used from old furniture, houses or even boats that is ready for a new lease of life. Whether its wood taken from factory scraps or sunken logs from rivers, furniture made from reclaimed wood is a great and efficient resource. The world needs more trees, not less so rather than damage more trees, we should all be actively looking to used reclaimed materials, like wood so we can reuse what we already have. Therefore, if you’ve got an old crate for example, why not look to reinvent it into a new garden table?
Bamboo if you don’t already know is a grass not a tree. It is extremely fast growing, versatile and is now a staple in environmental designer’s projects. Whether it’s sliced up into window blinds, flattened for flooring or made into a new cane furniture set, bamboo can be used for a whole variety of purposes. Typically, the majority of bamboo derives from China and is grown with a little to no pesticides and because it grows quickly, bamboo forests are easy to maintain or create. This also means it uses a lot of water, however, and harvesting too fast can deplete soil fertility. Some of the best conservatory furniture UK has to offer is bamboo made and people are even aware. It’s only downfall depending on the supplier is the fact that it is put together using glue, which can contain formaldehyde, however, this can be checked before buying.
With all the new release and modern brands on the market today it can be easy to forget that pre-owned goods can be the greenest purchase of all. Vintage and second-hand and furniture requires no additional resources to manufacture, is often locally sourced (cutting down on transportation), and eases the load on the landfill. Quality vintage furniture can also have excellent resale value which certainly can’t be said for most new furniture, green or otherwise.
Something that we all need to do more of, go local. Just like local food produce, you would be shocked at how far the components of furniture travels before reaching us. Whether its delivery to shops through trucks, for then people to drive to pick it up, to the parts themselves being sent around to get to the manufacturer, there is a big process behind making furniture. Therefore, it is always best to go local and shop for hand built pieces local to your location. This will support the local economy, craftsperson and ultimately reduce shipping costs and people’s carbon footprint.
Opt for Durability & Fixability
An aspect that is often overlooked when it comes to green products is durability. So maybe you haven’t been swayed by the above and still want a new piece of furniture you’ve seen, the key is to think about longevity if you want to contribute. If something is long lasting and/or can be fixed or repair, this ultimately reduces the chance that it’ll end up in landfill or being burned. This means that in the grand scheme of things you’ll save yourself money, whilst you’re benefitting the environment slightly in the longer run. Even recyclable materials if they break (and can’t be fixed) require energy and other resources to reprocess and replace. By opting for durable furniture, it can then be passed on from person to person, spanning decades. Even if your style changes, a good strong table will almost always be appealing to someone else!