Companies around the world take shortcuts that reduce the quality of our environment.
The use of toxic chemicals or non-sustainable production processes have become endemic over the last century. This only happens because we as consumers allow it. If we started to stop purchasing all such goods, then manufacturers would have no choice but to make more responsible choices. It is therefore up to us to change the way we live if we want a more healthy environment for our kids. You can start a more sustainable lifestyle by purchasing eco friendly furniture.
There are several things you want to look for when selecting eco friendly furniture. The first is that you want to make sure that any wood in the furniture comes from forests that are responsibly managed. There are a number of organizations such as the Tropical Forest Trust (TFT) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) that certify woods only from those producers who are committed to long-term conservative and responsible cultivation methods. Therefore be sure to look for a designation such as FSC on any wood furniture you purchase.
Another alternative is to look for furniture that is made with recyclable materials. Reclaimed wood comes from a variety of sources including old furniture, houses, and scraps from production floors. Every piece of reclaimed wood that is used is one less piece that needs to be thrown away in a landfill. Organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance have come up with certifications to help you shop for furniture made with reclaimed wood. Simply try to buy furniture with the Rediscovered Wood Certification.
There are other types of recycled material that are great for furniture. Recycled aluminum and plastic, for example, are great materials to construct furniture from. You need to be careful when purchasing these products that they truly are recycled, though. Some companies will use fresh materials and imply the materials are recycled in an attempt to cater to the eco friendly market. Look for products certified Cradle to Cradle (C2C) if you want to be certain that you are getting genuine recycled furniture.
Also, consider buying furniture made of more sustainable materials. Bamboo is an excellent alternative to wood when purchasing furniture. Bamboo actually is not wood at all; it is technically considered grass and grows very quickly. It thus takes very little time to replace bamboo that is cultivated for production. The material also looks distinctive when incorporated into furniture. The only potential negatives from bamboo are that a lot of water can be used to produce it and some manufacturers will use chemicals in its cultivation.
It is also important to make sure that the furniture is not treated with any toxic chemicals. These are bad for the environment and are also bad for your health. Volatile organic compounds are commonly used in the construction of furniture. These include formaldehyde and flame retardants. There are some studies that even indicate that air quality inside the home can be worse than outside due to the presence of some of these compounds in furniture. Look for the Greenguard certification to make sure your furniture has not been produced with any of these toxins.
Adopting a green lifestyle is a way that we can all help to create a more sustainable world. Making your next furniture purchase eco friendly is a great way to start living right for the environment.