Great furniture expresses your style and preferences. When you buy any furniture you first look at functionality: the types of pieces you need, how many of each, and the sizes. Then you decide on the style you want: traditional, oriental, boho, or modern contemporary style. Choosing eco-friendly furniture shows you care about making choices that help the environment. What better style could there be than one that reduces your carbon footprint?
What is Eco-Friendly Furniture?
Eco friendly furniture is made with eco friendly materials. One may assume this means high quality furniture made with natural materials and natural fibers such as organic cotton. That can be the case but it can also include reused materials that lower the environmental impact. Eco-friendly furniture is easy on the environment. You many consider it and eco-friendly choice if it preserves natural resources, requires less energy to manufacture and transport, and releases fewer toxins into the air and water. Ethical furniture brands take things a step further and look at the conditions under which the furniture company employees work and require fair wages.
For a large part it is the materials that distinguish eco friendly furniture from the rest. With so many products being labeled “eco-friendly,” it’s easy to lose sight of what it really means to be earth-friendly. If you want to know more, Interiorbeat has an in depth article on ecolabels and sustainability standards.
Furniture may be considered eco-friendly if it is made from materials that are:
- Free of toxic chemicals and/or harmful chemicals
- Manufactured efficiently, with minimal waste
- Durable and long lasting.
- Recyclable materials
- Sustainably grown and harvested raw materials
- Upcycled (one of the most affordable eco friendly furniture options)
Types Of Eco-Friendly Furniture for Your Home and Garden
Whether you are looking for garden furniture or furniture for inside your home, when you choose eco-friendly furniture you show your support for a healthy environment. Here is a wide range of eco-friendly furniture options that would be great for a home office, living room, or even outdoor furniture.
All-weather wicker sets are fully recyclable and are made in an eco-friendly way. This one is from Bridgman.
Furniture from Recycled and Recyclable Plastics
When manufacturers make an outdoor chair from recycled plastic, 240 fewer milk jugs go into landfills. Plus, when that chair has come to the end of its useful life, it can be recycled. Recycled and recyclable, the plastic garden chair is eco-friendly.
Manufactured wicker takes recycling to a new level. Made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), an environmentally conscious and recyclable material, wicker furniture is moisture, insect, rot, and chemical resistant. All weather wicker weave is built to last; it does not fade or deteriorate and can stay outside year round. The wicker garden set pictured here is stylish, comfortable, AND eco-friendly.
Reclaimed Wood Furniture
When old barns are demolished beautifully aged wood remains. With an eye toward preservation and conservation, artisans are reclaiming barn boards, joists, and flooring and turning them into unique pieces of furniture, from simple outdoor benches to finely crafted dining tables.
Saving old barn wood is just one way to reclaim wood. Now, environmentally conscious entrepreneurs are selling leftover wood to contractors and furniture makers. Each piece of furniture from reclaimed wood helps conserve the world’s resources.
Another great choice is sustainably grown and harvested wood furniture featuring the Forest Stewardship Council certification. This type of furniture crafted from wood grown in forests that meet strict environmental standards is certainly eco-friendly. Rather than depleting resources, sustainable forestry ensures the forests continue to grow and produce quality wood decade after decade.
Look for sustainable furniture companies like the one pictured above. There are a lot of eco friendly furniture companies that make handmade furniture concentrated in North Carolina in the United States. The local artisans make everything from bed frames to side tables and coffee tables. These eco friendly products made from renewable sources make a beautiful addition to any home decor.
Used furniture is an eco friendly furniture choice as well. It is certainly the least expensive but likely the most work. A broken handle, wobbly leg or saggy seat can take a lot of the appeal out of any piece of furniture. You’d be surprised at the problems you can solve with a little research, a modest tool kit and a bit of spare time. Figuring out how to fix a damaged item can restore its ability to function, providing you with many years of use and enjoyment. Applying a simple coat of no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint is a great way to breathe exciting new life into boring old items.
Eco-friendly furniture doesn’t need to look any different or cost more, but homeowners know their purchases are helping support the environment. Do you have any eco-friendly furniture pieces you’d like to brag about or suggestions for sourcing affordable eco-friendly furniture? Share them with me on social @familyfocusblog!
How To Upcycle An Old Dresser Into An Ottoman
How cool! At one of our local zoos there is a bench with a sign on it that it’s made from recycled milk jugs and the kids and I study it every time we go. It’s amazing – and totally AWESOME.
Jane Ross says
I am a long time supporter of environmental causes. Here is new blog that tells about an eco-friendly furniture brand:
Honestly I’m fed up with the “single use/disponsable” culture, and prefer the “use and keep” one.
I made a small reserch on the web, and I found some eco friendly furniture
Small Footprints says
I love the idea of the old barn wood … what a great use for it. I’d also add that second-hand stores are great places to shop for Eco-friendly furniture. They might not have been manufactured in a green way, using green materials, but now that they are “in the system”, buying them prevents new pieces from being purchased. Wonderful post … thank you!