We have been already talking about Energy Efficient Houses that are being built in order to decrease the contamination of the planet due to the use of fossil fuels. Energy efficient houses are really something that everyone should admire because of the many advantages, but these houses also have to be furnished. For those who respect the environment and think green here are some options how to decorate and furnish their homes. Additionally, for those who want to establish a company or to develop their current business, there are presented the more environmentally-friendly ways and materials that can be used for making furniture.
What can you do?
In general, furniture is considerably less expensive nowadays. However, it has a less desirable effect to the environment, because it can often contain toxic materials which damage our surrounding. Also, furniture does not last, and in long term it is not cheaper because you have to buy more and more low quality items which ultimately pollute the environment. Each time you decide to purchase a new piece of furniture, think again do you really need a new one? You can restore your furniture, it can be again useful. Do it yourself or hire someone, maybe a restorer is able to give it a fresh new look using earth-friendly materials. Although it may be more expensive to hire a restorer than to buy a new piece of furniture, but remember you are doing it for the environment. Furthermore, there are second-hand options. In most cases, it can be restored and reused. Although it will need some cleaning, repairing or sanding, an eco-friendly finish can make it look new and usable. Only be careful (or avoid completely) when reusing second hand mattress and sofas, unless these items are from someone you know. When you buy some household item, buy it from local craftspeople, so you will support the local economy and decrease the environmental cost of shipping. It is also important to choose a piece of furniture with low-toxicity, because there are dangerous substances that are offgassed and have been linked to various diseases. If you are a crafty type, lots of pieces of furniture can be freshened up with new paint or finish or even repurposed into new functions. When an item is made, it should be sustainable and durable. In this way, a customer is protected by purchasing new furniture frequently and the amount of waste is lower. Also, a good eco-friendly furniture should be easily repaired.
What material should manufacturers use for furniture producing?
All this is given because the process of making furniture requires a lot of trees. The world needs more trees and not less, so habits that lead to deforestation are not ethical. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, they keep the surface of the planet cool, they hold soil together… forests provide the habitats for animals, insects, birds, and other plants. However, there are sustainable ways to harvest wood. Wood from sustainably harvested forests, sustainably harvested tree farms, and reclaimed wood are the main sources.
Reclaimed wood usually comes from old furniture, houses, or other built things that are ready for some friendly reuse, from flawed wood, or from scraps from a factory. Some reclaimed wood even comes from logs that sunk to the bottom of rivers. Either way, household items that are made from reclaimed wood are great examples of resource efficiency, but usually comes in shorter supply.
Bamboo is actually not a tree, it represents a family of grasses that vary in size and in color. It is amazingly fast-growing and flexible so bamboo has become vary popular material of environmental designers and builders. Bamboo can be molded into furniture, flooring, veneers, window blinds and so on. Most bamboo is grown with few or no pesticides, it is much easier to maintain healthy because it is fast growing , however it uses a lot of water and too fast harvesting can diminish soil fertility. Unfortunately, there are some growers who use pesticides and other chemicals. Despite all this, bamboo is one of the greenest materials around.
Metal and plastic are materials that are recyclable, so they can be considered as eco-friendly materials for furniture. A great number of furniture is being made from recycled plastics and metals as well because they require less processing. The technologies are constantly developing, so the quality of these products will certainly rise. The process of making furniture from recycled materials, such as reprocessed discarded plastic bags and other packaging, as well as any other used item, palmwood found on abandoned coconut palm plantations, or recycled wood furniture support the market for recycled materials. Be creative, recycle, design and produce. Go green!