Living a greener lifestyle shouldn’t be limited to bringing your own tote bag when grocery shopping or investing in metal straws and recyclable cups. Having an eco-conscious lifestyle should also include using eco-friendly furniture at home.
That, however, is easier said than done. With so many brands and products claiming to be good for the environment, it’s easy to be deceived and fall for the wrong ones.
- To make sure that doesn’t happen, below are some tips you can use in picking real eco-friendly furniture:
1. Buy pre-loved items
Those pieces of secondhand furniture at your local thrift shop or yard sale are already assembled and made. By buying them, you are practically stopping those large pieces of furniture from piling up in landfills.
Now, when buying second-hand items, it’s important for you to check their quality. After all, you wouldn’t want a piece of furniture that can only last a few weeks or months, right?
Even though you’re aiming to be more eco-friendly, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice quality. In fact, it’s the other way around. For the environment, it’s good to find a piece that’s made to last. Think of heirloom quality.
Dining room sets, chairs, cabinets, and bed frames that are built with really high-quality materials can be passed down from one generation to another. They can practically encourage the family to purchase less and save more.
2. Choose products made from sustainable woods
When you are trying to be more eco-friendly, using wood furniture at home may seem a bit awkward. With your vision in mind, you’re probably aware that the world needs more trees as they are essential to keeping the planet in good condition.
However, there are sustainable wood options that are actually better than getting furniture made of metal, plastic or cloth. Sustainable wood comes from forests and areas that are sustainably managed. The people tending to such areas produce wood in a way that won’t damage the wildlife, eco-system, and watersheds.
As long as you choose sustainable wood, you can place wood furniture in your entertainment room without the guilt or the need to worry about its effect on the environment.
3. Consider bamboo
Bamboo is considered as a really eco-friendly material. It grows so quickly, enabling it to replenish its supply in no time.
Apart from that, bamboo is also easy to use in decorating homes. It can easily blend with both modern and traditional styles.
Now, in choosing bamboo furniture, try to get to know the chemicals used to process or build them. Some items can be held together by glue which can contain harmful and toxic chemicals.
You may also want to avoid buying bamboo furniture from companies that grow them in soil filled with pesticides. Bamboo crops have this ability to suck up whatever nutrients or substances are in the soil.
4. Skip “un-natural” products
While the idea of having items at home that won’t succumb to fire easily is tempting, they really aren’t that safe. Items that are treated with flame-retardant chemicals can emit toxins in your home over time. Plus, there aren’t enough solid proofs of how effective they are in resisting fire.
Apart from fire retardants, you may also want to skip any furniture treated with formaldehyde. This chemical is known to be a potent carcinogenic. It releases toxins in the air when heated, putting everyone who inhales them at risk of cancer.
So, as a guide, try to avoid man made substances and stick with all-natural materials. Skip formaldehyde and choose untreated wood.
5. Choose to live a more minimalist lifestyle
When it comes to decorating your home, it’s best to stick to fewer items as possible. Don’t fill your home with so many products and furniture as that will just get in the way of your goal to be more eco-friendly.
In choosing your items, just stick with your necessities. Get only the things you need and you’ll be more at ease, knowing that you’re using the least amount of resources as necessary to maintain your home.
For example, you can get an Amish TV stand for your living room. Most of the time, the materials used in making such furniture are locally sourced and are made to last.
You can also get the basic pieces of furniture to make your house a home. Invest in the right number of drawers, bed frames, tables, and chairs for the family.
If there are existing furniture at home which you can recycle, go ahead and repurpose them first before shopping for new items. A dining table, for example, can be turned into drawers and cabinets. It’s just a matter of being creative and sticking to your goal of being more eco-friendly at home.
6. Choose flexibility
When you find yourself falling in love with a piece of furniture, find out first if it’s going to be flexible. If not, look for another one.
See if it’s easy to move around and pick up. You should be able to take the furniture from one point to another without much difficulty. You should also be able to take it with you should you decide to move to another house in the future.
Additionally, you should look for furniture that’s easy to break down and disassemble. That way, you’ll be able to take them apart piece by piece, allowing you to recycle any part that’s recyclable.
Finding eco-friendly furniture is not as hard as it seems. It’s just a matter of doing your research and knowing your options.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Really get to know an item first before you purchase it. Ask where the wood in the furniture comes from and what chemicals were used to treat it. It’s also a good idea to ask where the materials have been sourced.
And finally, don’t get more items than you have to. Owning tons of eco-friendly furniture only beats your goals. Aim to live a more minimalist lifestyle to reduce waste and your carbon footprint.
Article Submitted By Community Writer