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» Shopping for Green Furniture

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Shopping for Green Furniture
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Your choice of furniture makes a big difference in the amount of impact that you have on the planet and your own good health. Many of us are not aware that furniture can in fact harm the environment due to the very processes by which it is made, and that it can in fact release emissions into the environment as well as to do real damage to the natural resources of the earth.

Although many manufacturer’s are now producing green furniture, it is wise to arm yourself with the knowledge on going green when buying furniture.
Here are some basics that you need to know when you are scouting for furniture.

    • Shop for furniture made from reclaimed wood. It is a great example of resource efficiency. It must have the Rediscovered Wood Certification label.
    • Bamboo is fast growing and versatile. This is one of the greenest materials that you can find. So look for furniture that are made of bamboo
    • In theory, both metals and plastics are recyclable, so this is considered eco-friendly. You can use these to find or make furniture out of.
    • Buy furniture that is easy to repair and easy to disassemble for proper sorting when they are no longer useful. Stay away from those that can’t be taken apart because most probably they cannot be repaired too.
    • Look for furniture that is durable. If something is tough and can easily be repaired, it lessen the chance that it will end up in a landfill. They can be passed on from one generation to another.
    • Look for low-toxicity furniture. To ensure this, look for the Greenguard Certification. Be conscious of the kinds of chemicals that you bring home especially if you have kids and pets
    • Buy vintage. Pre-owned furniture requires no additional resources to manufacture and eases the load on landfills. It also has an excellent resale value.
    • Buy Locally. Not only will it boost the local economy, but it will decrease the cost of transportation just for the furniture to reach us. Source your furniture close to home.
    • Buy refurbished furniture. These are old furniture refurbished by the manufacturer and sold as new. It is wise to buy this when you need more than one of the same designs. It is less expensive and keeps you from filling up the landfill.

Additional Facts:

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are present in most furniture like glue, finishes, paint and stains contribute to harmful emissions in your home
  • VOCs are claimed to cause birth defects, cancer and endocrine disruption.
  • The concentration of VOCs can be more than 100 times higher in indoor spaces than outside
  • Trees are the source of wood in furniture. Trees can be harvested in ways that are harmful to the earth by depleting species an disrupting ecosystems

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