When you’re shopping for furniture, there are a lot of factors to consider including style, quality, durability – but something that’s becoming increasingly trendy is buying green. The market for eco-friendly furniture is growing, making it a viable choice for consumers and the preferred choice for manufacturers. If sustainability is a high priority for you, here are seven ways to shop eco-friendly:
- Local and vintage. Not only can this be a cost-friendly alternative, but you’re supporting local artists and/or getting pieces for your home that are completely unique.
- Certified sustainable wood. This includes wood from sustainably harvested forests and sustainably harvested tree farms.
- Reclaimed materials. The world needs our trees! So if you can save a few by using reincarnated wood, why not. Reclaimed wood is generally available in short supply, but includes anything from the aforementioned reincarnated wood, to scraps from the sawmill, to logs found in rivers.
- Composite wood. Composite lumber is a mixture of wood fibre and plastic that, when bound, forms a material that is denser, stronger and heavier than even real wood. Of course, when it comes to wood, the less you use the better, making composite lumber the more sustainable choice.
- Bamboo. Bamboo is incredibly fast-growing, versatile and has become a popular and sustainable choice of building material for designers, decorators and builders.
- Low toxicity. Most furniture, made from wood or even synthetic materials, do something known as “offgassing.” Basically, they are emitting some sort of substance into the air, which subsequently impacts air quality. This is not necessarily negative, but it can be. To avoid offgassing, shop for furniture that is untreated or treated with natural substances. Or, shop vintage or second hand, as offgassing tapers off over time.
- Recycled metals and plastic. Furniture made from recycled materials is unique, eco-friendly and as an added benefit, that chair made entirely of milk cartons makes for riveting dinner conversation!