How to make sustainable furniture choices

Posted by Joan Shumaker on

When it comes to choosing furniture and relating to giving back to the community we all want to do good for the environment. Here are some tips on how to choose sustainable furniture. 

1. Buy from the certified sustainable council

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While chopping down woods from trees for furniture isn’t sustainable some wood choices are better. Some major retailers offer furniture made from responsibly sustainable sourced wood such as Eucalyptus, Teak, Walnut, and Bamboo. Bamboo is gaining as one of the smartest, eco-friendliest furniture choices. Bamboo is also very fast growing compared to woods. It also releases 35 percent more oxygen than forest trees, and are more strong! Rattan would be a similar choice as well. Wood from the sustainably harvested forest, trees or farms such as Forest Stewardship Council is a great standard of certification that controls clear-cutting and promotes good working condition.

2. Avoid toxic chemicals

A lot of furniture is manufactured with VOC: volatile organic compounds which are paints, leather treatments, upholstery, plywood and pressed wood products. They can slowly release and produce VOCs at home over time which can build up to toxic levels when doors and windows are closed. If you plan to purchase new furniture, look for low VOC.
 

3. Furniture from reclaimed materials and recycled metal and plastic

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Photo Credit: Sandymounthotel

Reclaimed wood usually comes from old furniture and houses that are ready for reincarnation from flawed wood. Reclaimed wood even comes from the bottom of rivers. They are a great example of resource efficiency but usually has shorter supply. This would be under Rediscovered Wood Certification label. Moreover, more furniture is being made from recycled plastics and metals as well which require less processing and fewer resource to help the environment. Biodegradable furniture which includes plant products, wood and paper are ideal for furniture as well, which gives 100% back to the environment.

4. Look for durable and fixable furniture

For tougher or readily repaired furniture reduces the chance that it goes to landfill, it could also save your money in the long run. Durable goods can also be passed on to different owners. Big furniture also costs more to hire to transport than to buy a new one. While selling unwanted furniture to new owners you can also purchase vintage furniture from past owners to reduce landfill.
 

5. Buy local

buy local

Buying near home not only can support the local economy but also decrease environmental cost/waste of shipping as well as other costs. Buying American made would also be an option to reduce the carbon footprint for shipping internationally.

6. Upcycle with Norse
Custom Sage Sideboard using IKEA Besta

IKEA Besta sideboard customized with Norse Marie fronts and Sara legs. 

Last but not least, buy from Norse Interiors. Norse pieces mean you upcycle durable, inexpensive foundations to create artisan furniture that is stunning, and sustainable. The world needs more trees not less. Other than absorbing carbon dioxide and produce fresh air they also keep the planet cool and provide habitat for animals which they call home.

For more tips follow: @norseinteriors

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Author: Stephanie Hwang

Main Photo Source: Norse Interiors

Additional Source Used: CustomMade TreeHugger