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Why we should learn more about sustainable furniture

Article published on 19/03/2018

A guide on how to choose your furniture for a sustainable home

We live in a contemporary society, where we are inundated with waste materials. These materials are produced by the increasingly numerous factories, which among other things, also emanate substances harmful to the environment, dangerous for marine life and that pollute even the air we breathe.

The world is rubbish ridden and even if it sounds strange, we are also accomplices because on a big scale, pollution is the result of our daily life choices and that is why it is important to make any decision with the utmost care, whether it is buying a piece of furniture or products from the supermarket.

The level of garbage produced by each of us, directly or indirectly, is very high:

Directly, this occurs through the waste that we produce individually, buying products made of harmful or non-recyclable materials (food packaging, plastic bags and bottles). On the other side we do it indirectly, buying products treated with harmful substances and that come from factories that do not respect the environment, forests, animals

Obviously, thinking of solving everything immediately, and all alone, is an impossible dream, but fortunately we are becoming increasingly sensitive and aware about the environment and the amount of garbage we produce. Becoming more conscious from this point of view and adopting solutions in our own small way is wise for us, our health and that of those who will come after us. It is right to leave our planet to future generations the same way we have found it, if not better.

Change your habits

So how much garbage do we produce every year for any daily activity?

Have you ever thought about it?

From shopping to take away coffee, from lunch at the office to buying furniture and home accessories, there are so many ways to reduce the trash and pollution we produce. For coffee, for example, you can decide to prioritize making coffee at home and using a reusable mug, while for lunch, you can prepare the meal at home and bring it to the office instead of buying take away meals in disposable containers.

Another idea can be to exchange books with friends and buy second hand or in vintage shops.

In this article we will mainly focus on the organization and decoration of your house, which concerns with everything related to the choice of sustainable furniture and furnishing accessories.

Eco wood and metal

Buy only what you really need

The first step for a green design house is not to have too much stuff and be as minimalist as possible. It is good to get rid of all the junk that we usually accumulate at home without even realizing it and that in most cases we do not use or is not useful at all, and consist of plastic, the worst enemy of the environment. So avoid buying things you do not really need.

eco furniture

Eco furniture materials

At this point it's time to start figuring out how to buy your own furnishing accessories wisely. The choice of eco friendly furniture is a fundamental step in the design of a sustainable home. Each piece of furniture must be built with ecological materials, that is to say healthy, biological, non-toxic and through a system that respects the environment. It is therefore important to focus on materials, to recognize those to be preferred and those to avoid, for the choice of your own sustainable furniture.

Wood is undoubtedly the most used material for organic furniture production, and is also the most environmentally friendly. It is however necessary to make sure that the wood comes from forests managed in a way that allows the forest to be perpetuated according to the natural balance.

Another very resistant and versatile material is bamboo. This bark, obtained from a plant that grows very quickly, has recently become a material used in different fields of eco interior design, from floors to cutlery.

Other eco-friendly materials for your ethical furniture are stone, metal and glass.

Recycled furniture design

Nowadays, eco friendly furniture manufacturers use recycled materials (such as old parquet floors coming from gyms), with intelligence and creativity in combination with other materials. All types of recycled wood furniture and accessories, such as a reclaimed wood table with elegant chairs or even a handmade chest of drawers can be made.

Sheffield Coffee Table vintage

This type of creativity refers to the ability of the poorest people to recycle old objects, which have become unusable, transforming them into something else with new functionalities, or to their ability to construct objects with whatever material they find available.

This is how artisans are able to give new life to old objects or furniture. Furthermore, the recycling of materials that have already had a life allows, among other things, to use the resources available in a more efficient way. A big thumb up then for the reclaimed wood furniture!

Eco-design uses creativity to produce furniture from raw materials normally considered to be waste; for example one of the last experiments concerns the use of cardboard for the creation of furniture and accessories especially for children's bedrooms.

Pair of Birquine boxes shabby

Eco design

Another way to help the environment is undoubtedly to choose solid and durable materials. Low cost products are welded in our society so much that we no longer realize it. Choosing handmade designer furniture, made by professionals, contrasts the waste, since items that remain intact for a long time, can make us save in the long run and avoid create garbage, which the planet does not need at all. A piece of this kind can also always be revisited, transformed or sold, saving money and energy.

It is also true that today vintage furniture is very trendy, so why not buy antique living room furniture like an elegant dining table or antique reclaimed chairs, which in addition to giving a unique and trendy atmosphere to any environment, can allow you to do your good deed to the planet?

Consider repair: in today's society where everyone lives in a rush and in a state of general economic well-being, if something breaks, we do not repair it anymore. But do we really need to replace our furniture or broken objects? Let's restore the art of repairing and the manual work of the artisans. Repair your furniture and even your broken pair of shoes!

A dispassionate advice is to always be attentive to the price of what we want to buy: be wary of those who propose contemporary wood furniture which prices are too low, because they are often not eco-friendly objects and such a low cost depends on the poor quality of the materials that can sometimes be toxic or harm our health and the environment.

Ethical products: accessories

Regarding smaller home accessories, the first thing to do to convert yourself to eco-design is to boycott plastic.

Buy eco-design home accessories and cutlery in bamboo or olive wood. There are even bamboo toilet brushes. Say no to plastic jars and bottles. There are a myriad of alternative materials for "eco design products", such as brass, ceramics, glass and aluminum.

In addition, to wash your home in an environmentally friendly way you can use eco-friendly diy products based on sodium bicarbonate or vinegar, and essential oils, to avoid toxic chemicals that are often difficult to dispose of.

Una vez que haya comprado muebles ecologicos y accesorios sostenibles, no se olvide de otras cosas como usar energía de fuentes renovables como el viento y el sol, y tener en cuenta los buenos hábitos diarios para ahorrar energía, como evitar el desperdicio de agua, apagar las luces, lavar la lavadora por la noche y usar los calentadores sólo cuando hace mucho frío.

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