Eco-Friendly Furnishings

The watch-word of the 21st century is ‘green’. We are reliably informed that our individual actions can harm or benefit the planet, and after many years of ignorance, we are now waking up. Rainforests are diminishing at an alarming rate, and as the ‘lungs of the earth’ that is very bad news. Deforestation for roads, cities and general manufacturing is not a problem that can be resolved without planning and patience. Trees unfortunately do not mature overnight. How should we be guided by our conscience when we buy home furnishings, and will it really make a difference?

Some furniture labels carry the note “Certified sustainable wood” which means it has been sourced from a forest which has a replanting program and is controlling its harvesting rate. Another good mark to buy is “FSC certified products” as they are also from managed forests which have an eye to the future, as well as to the present.

Reclaimed wood is another source which should carry the mark as a certified sustainable wood. Wood is reclaimed from old houses, flooring and old furniture and often has a grain and flaws from its former life, which make it individual and interesting, as well as eco-friendly.

Bamboo is an excellent option. Bamboo is incredibly quick-growing; some types growing as much as 12 inches a day. There are many different types of bamboo with different sizes, patterns and colors. Bamboo makes great casual furniture and flooringicon and well as mats and blinds. Plastics and metals also lend themselves to being recycled.

The amazing Icon aluminum furniture is made from 80% recycled aluminum, yet is a trendy design by popular designer Philippe Starck.

Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck

Bookcases, shelving and desks are all available from bamboo, as well as smaller decorative items. Next time you are buying furniture and household goods, think green. Check labels and make a promise that you will do your bit to maintain this wonderful world of ours.

—Gillian Birch

Categories: Design Tips Furniture Buying Tips

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