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We all need furniture in our homes. If you take a moment to picture your entire home without furniture, you’ll be left with something pretty eerie! For some people who are into interior design, choosing the right furniture is extremely important. For many of us, we barely notice it at all! Regardless on your take on the aesthetics, there are several green choices you can make when buying new furniture.
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One option you might want to consider is sustainable wood furniture. If you’re the slightest bit concerned for the environment, then you’ve probably heard about the global deforestation issue. The earth needs more trees, rather than less. Aside from producing the gas we need to breathe, trees keep the planet cool, create rich soil, and provide a habitat for countless animals. How do you make sure your purchases aren’t contributing to any further deforestation? Simply make a point to buy sustainable wooden furniture. Keep an eye out for wood from sustainably harvested forests, or sustainably harvested wood farms. The companies that buy from these sources are likely to make a point of telling you, but be sure to ask anyway.
The other kind of furniture you could look for is pieces made from agricultural products, recycled metal or plastics. At one time, there wasn’t much widespread concern for the environment. Now though, recycling plastics and other materials is a massive industry, as is creating products from renewable resources that can easily be composted. Also, as time goes along, the technology for crafting recycled-material furniture is improving. This means that there’s now a wide selection of recycled furniture which not only helps the earth, but won’t be an eyesore! Make sure that your product actually is sustainable though. A lot of companies mark their products “recyclable” as a simple marketing ploy. While they may be made out of recyclable materials, it can end up pretty hard to actually get them recycled. Look out for Cradle to Cradle certified products. This certification means your furniture has been designed to be recycled. At the end of its useful life, these products can be easily taken apart, sorted and recycled.
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Make sure to look out for VOCs in the materials you buy. When you buy certain products, they’re not just sitting there. All the time, various materials are giving off gas, and releasing the materials they’re made of into the air. This is a process known as outgassing. Almost any substance in the world outgasses, and in a lot of cases this is completely harmless. However, certain synthetic materials can contain Volatile Organic Compounds. These can be released into your home and cause all kinds of harm. Flame retardants are one of the biggest culprits for this problem. You should always be mindful of the kinds of chemicals you’re bringing into your home. This is especially important with any pets or young children around.
Keep this information in mind while you shop for new furniture. While this can do a lot to make your entire home greener, there’s always more you could be doing. Keep looking out for them, and you’ll find it much easier to make green decisions.