Over the last few years, there has been a rapid surge in demand for eco-friendly furniture. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, they are now making responsible choices about the types of products they bring to their homes.
But what exactly is eco-friendly furniture? And do homeowners know what to look for when choosing eco-friendly furniture?
While most people may already know the buzzword "eco-friendly furniture," they are often not aware of what eco-friendly furniture is and what to look for when choosing eco-friendly furniture. And if you are one of those who don't know the details, don't worry. Here we have compiled a guide for you to better understand what eco-friendly furniture is and what to look for when shopping for eco-friendly furniture so you can make the right choices for yourself. So let's get started.
What is Eco-Friendly Furniture?
Before we get into the details of how to go about purchasing eco-friendly furniture, it is important to understand what eco-friendly furniture is. By definition, it is furniture that is created in such a way that it minimizes negative impact on the environment. Ideally, eco-friendly furniture should have some or all of the following features.
Made from Sustainable and Rapidly Renewable Material
Eco-friendly furniture is made from sustainable and renewable materials. For example, if you opt for wooden furniture, ensure that the wood comes from a renewable source and can be grown rapidly. One of the examples of materials that is sustainable and rapidly renewable is bamboo.
Safe Production Process
Another key feature of eco-friendly furniture is that it undergoes a safe production process that doesn't have harmful effects on the environment. Safe production process refers to limited or no use of toxic chemicals or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are otherwise commonly used in the production process.
Resource-Efficient Production and Shipping
Eco-friendly furniture is also produced resource-efficient, which means that the production process is efficient and doesn't account for excessive wastage of any resource. Moreover, apart from the production, the shipping and delivery of the furniture should be resource-efficient and should have minimal carbon footprints.
In all, eco-friendly furniture is created in such a way that it minimizes the negative impact on the environment at each stage of production, starting from the raw material collection to actual production, packaging, and delivery.
Moreover, it is important to note that eco-friendly furniture can also be used to describe furniture that is created from recycled materials. Furniture that is made from recycled materials is eco-friendly because it involves creating something new using discarded or unused materials. It makes a sustainable choice as it reduces the rubbish from landfills. Moreover, it also reduces the need to burn precious energy that is used while creating something using new resources. Some materials that can be recycled into furniture include railway sleepers, floorboards, and wood cladding.
Another critical aspect of eco-friendly furniture is to invest in second=hand items, which can be easily found at garage sales. Again, they make an eco-friendly choice as they involve the reuse of the same resources.
Why is Eco-Friendly Furniture a Better Choice?
Eco-friendly furniture makes a better choice for the environment, and your home as it causes less damage to the environment while making your home a safe place for your loved ones.
After all, when you opt for eco-friendly furniture, you are causing lesser damage to the environment. Moreover, with eco-friendly furniture, you will get less harmful pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from your furniture and fabric and pollute your home's air. When VOCs are released into your home's air, it can lead to several health concerns, including migraines, allergies, and asthma. The side effects can affect people of all ages, but younger children and elderly loved ones who spend most of the time indoors are at the greatest risk of developing these health conditions caused by VOCs.
Tips for Choosing Eco-Friendly Furniture
Now that you already know what eco-friendly furniture is and why it makes a great choice for your space, let's look at a few tips that will help you make the right choice when choosing eco-friendly furniture.
Go for Secondhand Furniture
Perhaps the most eco-friendly furniture that you can find for yourself is the one that's kept out of the landfills, which is why we suggest going for secondhand furniture. It is something that's made from materials that are built to last, so the next time you think of disposing off your grandma's dining table and investing in a new one, think again, as you may be able to use it. An additional benefit of reusing old furniture is that it saves your money and saves the environment in the long run.
Rely on the Minimalistic Approach
While everyone is crippling to the consumer mentality, give yourself a break and rely on the minimalistic approach when choosing eco-friendly furniture. By owning lesser furniture, you will cut back on contributing waste to the environment, which will eventually decrease your carbon footprint. Moreover, having a minimalistic approach will also allow you to be more flexible in how you use your furniture. When you get that flexibility, it encourages you to believe that “less is more.”
Opt for Furniture Made From Sustainable Resources
Wood makes a popular material for furniture, but we also know that wood typically comes from trees that are integral for maintaining the earth's balance. Moreover, we also know that excessive demand for wood for various purposes is the leading cause of deforestation that contributes to climate change global warming. Therefore, you must opt for furniture made from sustainable resources, including wood, when choosing eco-friendly furniture. Go for furniture made from wood that comes from sustainably harvested forests and tree farms. You can also opt for reclaimed wood.
Look for Furniture Made With Recycled Materials
While it might come as a surprise for most people looking for furniture, you can conveniently find furniture made from recycled material. And if you buy furniture made from recycled material, you are positively contributing to the environment. However, when choosing furniture made from recycled material, look for certified Cradle to Cradle (C2C) products as they are recycled appropriately.
Choose Bamboo Furniture
When it comes to wooden furniture, furniture made with bamboo makes a super sustainable choice. Bamboo is a sustainable resource as it grows rapidly and is sturdy and durable. The versatile material can be used to make anything ranging from flooring to modern home and office furniture. And while it makes a great sustainable resource, as furniture buyers, you should know that the pieces of bamboo furniture are held together by glue which may contain harsh and toxic chemicals. Moreover, you should also know that bamboo uses up a lot of water and nutrients from the soil, which could be one of the possible drawbacks of investing in bamboo furniture.
Do Your Research
When you are planning to purchase eco-friendly furniture, choosing bamboo furniture and going for secondhand furniture may be the right thing to do, but regardless of what and how you choose, it is important to do your research before purchasing. When you meet a furniture supplier, do not hesitate to ask as many questions as you may want to. Ask questions about where the raw material for the furniture is coming from and what chemical treatments it has received. It is best to familiarize yourself with the various certification terms like BIFMA and Greenguard before you head out for eco-friendly furniture shopping.
Moreover, when you are purchasing eco-friendly furniture, it is integral to think about the following.
Is the piece of furniture made from durable material? Know that low prices may not always be your best bet as they may compromise the quality.
What is the material used for the manufacturing of the piece of furniture? Inquire about the chemical treatments that the material may have received.
What material is used to finish or seal the furniture? Do the paint and other materials used contain high content of harmful VOCs?
Which country does the piece of furniture come from? Does the country rely on the use of green practices? How much distance has the furniture covered for reaching the end destination?
Only when you do extensive research and thoroughly ask the supplier questions can you end up with a piece of eco-friendly furniture. If you are looking for sustainable, eco-friendly furniture for your home office or workspace, get in touch with Flexispot, which makes a reliable manufacturer of ergonomic office and home office furniture.