The green movement in industries to reduce waste and their carbon footprint has spread to even furniture manufacturing. Manufacturers worldwide are doing their part to be sure that their furniture products have the stamp of approval for being environmentally friendly. A furniture company claiming that their products are green can mean many things, so it is important to understand how green furniture is produced.
Many companies present their green initiatives in a quick to comprehend way by documenting how they have reduced their carbon emissions. There is no one material that can be used in furniture making that is 100 percent sustainable, but there is a way to have sustainable practices by using alternative materials, such as recycled items.
There are many substances that are used in producing furniture, such as paint, paint strippers and stain, which are considered volatile materials. These materials can result in offgassing, a process where gasses that were trapped in other materials are released and contribute to poor air quality. Gasses trapped in during the process of producing furniture can be released in your home and damage your air quality inside your house. Ways that companies are reducing this risk is by reducing the amount of finishes and paints with this toxic ability.
When getting ready to buy new furniture, look for a few pieces of information to help you make the most eco-friendly decision to protect your home and the Earth.
FSC Certified Wood: FSC stand for Forest Stewardship Council and wood that is FSC certified means that the furniture manufacturers are practicing sustainable forestry management techniques. This is important in sustainability efforts to keep forests from becoming depleted.
Renewable and Recycled Materials: Buying pieces that are made from bamboo is an example of a renewable material. Bamboo is a natural grass that grows rapidly and is now being used widely. Buying a piece of furniture that is made using reclaimed wood means that the wood was originally used for something else and was recycled into a usable piece of furniture.
Low or Non-Toxic Finishes: Investigating what type and how much volatile materials were used in the construction of a piece of furniture is important to help reduce offgassing in your home.
Durability of a Piece: Buying a sturdy piece of furniture and caring for it properly is a step toward a more sustainable life. A piece that is durable will last longer, thus reducing the need for disposal and renewal.
Buy Local: Locally purchased items help with sustainability in a more indirect manner because locally purchased items do not need to be transported far and will cut costs associated with transportation.
Furniture manufacturing is on a successful path to helping reduce the carbon footprint of their company and their customers. By doing some extra homework when you’re ready to buy new furniture, you can make a small and easy step in helping the environment by buying eco-friendly furniture.