Green Up Your Furniture

Going Green with Furnishing

Last month I posted an article on ways to go green when moving into a new home. (Click here to read post.) This month, let’s take it a step further…

Going Green with Furnishing

 Some people obsess over furniture and decorating their homes, while others are content with a comfy couch. Regardless of your inner interior designer, the choices you make regarding furniture in the office or your home will have an impact on the planet, your health and local environment. The need for sustainability in today’s environment means a whole new set of options and designs to choose from. Here you will find some basic ideas and tips to help guide your search for green furnishings, rather than relying on a single company or designer.

Sustainable Wood

Whether you want to work with furniture made of wood, metal, cloth or plastic, there are always other earth-friendly opportunities to do just that. It is important to know where your product is coming from. Since the world is already in need of more trees, the practice of deforestation leads to some very bad results, such as erosion and reduced oxygen production in affected areas. One thing we are taught at school is that trees do an excellent job at absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, keeping the surface of our planet cool and under control. There are other ways to collect sustainable wood. Many places already work with reclaimed wood from forests being treated in sustainable ways. If furniture is made from such sources, this only means your home will have a lesser impact on nature than it could otherwise. Whatever it is, if you know the origin of your furniture’s wooden material, you should avoid ones where massive forests are being harvested for wood.

Reclaimed Materials

If wood has been looked after, it may last for a very long time. You should make use of the wood already out there in the world, instead of cutting down new trees. Many designers working with such materials nowadays are considering doing exactly that. Reclaimed wood and materials are often taken from old furniture and houses or other objects built from them. In many other cases flawed wood can be used for a number of projects and tasks, taking scraps from factories or everyday objects. While a lot of reclaimed wood may come from riverbed logs and fallen trees, much of it is used due to its efficiency. You don’t have to cut it down, destroying a forest in the process, which makes it a great choice. However it is something often in short supply due to the process in how it is acquired.

Using Bamboo

You may know at this point that bamboo is a hard, resilient grass rather than a tree. Bamboo may vary in size from small to truly large. It ranges in color, from a soft lime green to an interesting maroon. It is versatile enough to have become a poster boy for environmental design and building. Bamboo may even be flattened into the floor, molded into furniture pieces or made into window blinds. You can literally build an entire house out of just bamboo. Using it in buildings is becoming more and more popular. Most of the bamboo in the world originates in China, grown with almost no pesticides whatsoever. It grows very fast, therefore making it easy to maintain in larger bamboo forests. A lot of water has to be used to maintain its growth, which may make it a bit difficult for some people and countries around the world. Harvesting it too fast tends to deplete and use up the minerals in the soil. However, with well thought out practices and proper techniques, bamboo is an excellent material to use.

These are just a few examples of other options that can be considered and used in greening your furniture and home. As technologies evolve and adapt to new trends we will undoubtedly see more and more materials that help us reduce our carbon footprint and offer safe and nature-friendly alternatives to traditional ones.

~This article was written on behalf of Removals Man and Van
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5 responses to this post.

  1. I am all about using sustainable materials, bamboo is great. For the furniture in our house I am a big fan of using yard sales and second hand stores. I redo the furniture and therefore am not using any new materials to decorate my house. It’s a great way to recycle and you can find some great pieces!

    Reply

    • That is great! We are planning to move soon and have been talking about using bamboo more….flooring, “fencing” around the yard, etc. Right now I even use bamboo cooking utensils! 😉 Thanks for stopping by…and you’re right – you can find some very unique and cool furniture pieces at second hand stores. Wish I was craftier so I could reupholster some stuff on my own!

      Reply

  2. Going green has always been a dream project for me, sadly my husband isn’t too keen on it since he doesn’t like plants inside the house.

    Reply

    • I hear you…I would love to have more plants in the house. I actually don’t have the best green thumb and we travel so much I’d hate to neglect them. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  3. […] Green Up Your Furniture […]

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