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Ecologically Friendly Furniture


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Our planet is not replaceable.

As obvious as that statement is, people still treat Earth like there is another one on the back burner. The ocean levels are rising, the ice caps are melting and our ozone layer is disintegrating; we've left more of a carbon footprint in the last hundred years than the rest of history combined! The good news, however, is that the word “green" is becoming more ingrained in our social consciousness.

Thanks to environmental activists and supporters, the word “green" has taken on a whole new definition. Any attitude concerning “global environmental protection, bioregionalism, social responsibility" is considered green. The term has become a buzzword of sorts; restaurants, business, and manufacturers brandish the label to appeal to our ever-concerned society.

Every day, people are finding new ways to become environmentally-friendly, even investing in green furniture. Decorating your house furniture made from recycled materials is not only fashionable, but it reduces our carbon footprint and preserves our planet for future generations.

Bamboo is a very good material for green furniture. Technically a grass, bamboo grows quickly, it's sturdy and it looks good in almost every interior. Plus, furniture made from bamboo doesn't require any deforestation. Because you can lay it flat for flooring, mold it into furniture, or even cut it up to make blinds and window shades, bamboo has become the go-to material for environmentalists. Plus, there are very few pesticides involved during its production.

Trees make our planet livable. By absorbing carbon dioxide and converting into oxygen, they produce breathable air, which is why deforestation causes such an outcry. However, there are tree farms dedicated to the sole purpose of producing wood products; these trees are certified sustainable. The Rainforest Alliance, one of the largest certifier of sustainable wood, uses the industry-standard Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which makes it easy determine safe wood. Some staunch environmentalists forget that no matter what something is made out of, there are earth-friendly options, even wood. It is very easy to find wood furniture made from sustainable trees, just look for the FSC label or inquire at your local furniture store.

The Rainforest Alliance also certifies any type of furniture made from recycled material: The Rediscovered Wood Certification. Sustainable forests are good sources of lumber, but wood lasts a long time, especially if it's taken care of. Reclaiming wood from old furniture makes more sense than using precious land to grow sustainable wood. Using old furniture, houses, and even drift wood are good examples of how innovative people have been in creating green furniture.

Green furniture also releases fewer toxins than synthetics. Many people don't even consider this, but nothing in your house just sits there; everything produces airborne substances. Toxins released from furniture have been traced to birth defects and other health problems. Make sure that any new furniture you purchase has the Greenguard certification, which ensures the product has low toxicity.

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for Web sites on solar energy, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background also includes teaching, gardening, and health and fitness. For more of her useful articles on ecologically friendly furniture, please visit Green Furniture .


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