The desire to try and live in harmony with the earth and to minimize the ecological impact that we have on the environment is now the goal of many responsible citizens. The ultimate aim of sustainable living depends upon the choices we make – with regard to food, clothing and shelter, including the kind of furniture we choose to buy.
Eco friendly furniture is that which is:
Made from sustainable forests – Wood that is sourced responsibly from sustainable forests is used to make eco friendly furniture. A sustainable forest is that which is replenished as it is denuded. So as trees are felled, they are replaced with seedlings or saplings and this is done at the rate that will maintain the tree cover of that area. Look for certification that the wood that was used to make the furniture is sustainable.
As we know, trees not only absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and reduce pollution, they are also the habitat of indigenous species, prevent soil erosion and bring rain. So maintaining and increasing existing forests is vital for the earth.
Made from renewable materials – Fast growing materials such as bamboo (which are actually a grass and not a tree it has to be remembered) is now a popular choice for people concerned about making ecologically responsible choices. Bamboo is versatile and a great looking choice for eco friendly furniture.
Made from recycled materials – Reclaimed wood or other materials that are recycled are also a good choice since this also makes furniture more eco friendly and places less pressure on existing resources.
Locally sourced – All things that are locally sourced are good for many reasons: one, they give a boost to local economy and local businesses and secondly, they lower the amount of resources consumed in transportation, packaging and so on. This certainly applies to food and similar produce, but it equally applies to furniture because you will be supporting local artisans by sourcing locally.
Durable – Use of solid construction techniques and quality materials makes furniture longer lasting and this is another aspect of sustainability. When furniture is durable and is made to last, it is also sustainable and means that it will require to be replaced or repaired a lot less than other types of furniture.
Easy to disassemble and recycle – Furniture that is easy to disassemble when it has reached the end of its life or its usefulness is also a good idea. Furniture that is easily taken apart into its constituent parts is easier to dispose of and recycle. This also makes furniture more eco friendly.
Low toxic materials – The process of growing the raw material as well as the process of creating the piece of furniture and the methods and raw materials used in making it should also be green. There should be little or no reliance placed on chemical pesticides, and other toxic materials in making the furniture. Also furniture can give off toxic gasses when being used, so look for low VOC (volatile organic compound) furniture when looking for eco friendly furniture.
Sarika Periwal writes for and promotes the work of the Amish craftsmen. Now it is possible to buy authentic Amish furniture online. Their large dining room table and chairs are very popular in bigger families. The furniture is made to last for generations.