"green"? If so what are some of the hows and whys?
Today we look at furniture. Here's a good piece from Ecocult with some friendly advice. As with any consumer line, the styles, stock, design change in a flash. But building into these pieces sustainable smarts, should never go out-of-stye.
One of the toughest challenges to eco-conscious living lies very close to home. It’s actually right in the home—I’m talking about what we live with and on every day: furniture.
Working in the furniture industry for seven years gave me real insight into supply chain and production issues. I learned it isn’t easy to make sustainable furniture. I realized finding it can be even harder, when the tables turned and I was on the customer side shopping for a new sofa.
This guide is meant to demystify the process of sourcing beautiful furnishings that are eco-friendly and non-toxic. In addition to environmental and social impacts, it’s especially important our furniture is not bad for our health. After all, we spend more time with it than with any other consumer product—mobile devices excepted of course.
While it can seem a bit overwhelming to sort through materials, production methods, and life cycle assessments, there are certain overarching principles to guide us toward low impact sofas, tables, cabinets and chairs. What makes furniture sustainable, and how are we defining that tricky term?
- Materials: low or no environmental impact in terms of sourcing (are the raw materials renewable, recyclable, nontoxic? Does their processing create toxic pollution? Have they been 3rd party certified?)
- Production methods: small carbon footprint, positive or neutral social impact (fair trade, fair made)
- Finishes: low or nontoxic ingredients, minimal or no off-gassing of harmful fumes
- Life cycle: product’s impact from cradle to grave, end of life—is it reusable, recyclable, biodegradable?
- Durability: is the design enduring? Are the materials and construction durable?