What exactly does sustainable furniture mean?
Sustainable furniture is made from materials that have a very minimal negative impact on our health and environment. They provide environmental, social, and economic benefits all through their life span from raw materials until final disposal.
This furniture, which is also known as eco-friendly furniture, provides what we need without endangering the earth for future generations.
What this invariably means is that there is a marked reduction in energy consumption, reduction of pollution in waste streams, and conservation of natural resources when creating this kind of furniture.
Few quick facts about sustainable furniture
- Sustainable furniture can be recycled or repurposed. That is anything that has been used previously for something else but is being reused to make new furniture.
- Sustainable furniture can be made from renewable materials. Bamboo, for instance, is highly renewable in the sense that it grows quite easily and can be replaced very quickly. So you can use it as a renewable source. There are some renewable sources of furniture that will still leave our forests teeming with life while providing us with what we need.
- Sustainable furniture is made with safe materials. The use of finishes that are low VOC or do not off-gas contributes to its safety in everyday use.
Why is sustainable furniture a better choice?
Sustainable furniture, which is also known as eco-friendly furniture, causes less harm to our ecosystem or environment.
Secondly, eco-friendly furniture is made with very little or no amount of chemicals.
You will get furniture that has fewer amounts of harmful pollutants like Volatile Organic compounds (VOC) released in your home's air.
This is important to note because building materials, paints, furniture, fabrics, carpets, and others can all release VOCs, which are dangerous to our health.
They can cause migraines as well as respiratory problems if one is not careful. A report by the European respiratory review explained how alarming the cause of respiratory problems by VOCs in recent times. It is because many people, especially children, spend most of their time indoors inhaling the fumes.
Now that you have a little idea of what sustainable furniture is, how do you ensure that you are actually buying eco-friendly furniture?
Well, you need to consider the following when shopping for your eco-friendly furniture:
- Is the country or manufacturer of the furniture practicing eco-friendly laws, do they use green building practices when making their pieces?
- How far did the item have to travel to get to you?
- Is it durable? Most times, cheap furniture was made with materials that don't last, and they usually end up as trash soon after they are bought. Remember that sustainable furniture can be reused or repurposed because of the material used in making it.
- What kind of materials and chemicals used in making the furniture? Is the frame of the furniture made with solid wood or particleboard, does the furniture contain Formaldehyde?
- What chemical did the manufacturer spray on the fabric of the furniture to resist stains? It's advisable to choose furniture with leather or microfiber material than one that needs to be sprayed for stain resistance.
- What kind of finishing is used to add color or seal the piece? If the paint, stain, or finish is not water-based, the chances are that it's high in VOCs.
Go for more durable materials such as bamboo, porcelain, or stone than exotic woods. These materials require less harmful finishes, and what's more, they do not affect the forests.
To conclude, make sure you do your research and ask the right questions whether you're shopping online or in a physical store!