The market for green design furniture is expanding rapidly as people become more environmentally aware and active and want products made with one eye on quality and another eye on earth friendly practices. You may not be able to look at a piece and tell if it is green design furniture or not, but with a little research, you can make sure your furniture suits both your home and the environment.
What is Green Design Furniture?
What separates green design furniture from regular furniture are two factors: what materials were used to make the product, and how was the product made. There are a few different types of materials that can be used in green design furniture:
- Materials which are partly recycled, or even fully recycled.
- Materials that come from renewable resources.
- New materials that are themselves recyclable.
While it is important for the base materials used in green furniture to meet one of the requirements listed above, you should also consider things like adhesive and paints that do not outgas and are not produced in plants that pollute their local environments.
Where the product is produced, and how it is produced, is another important thing to consider. What is the environmental record of the manufacturer? Does the manufacturer work in an energy efficient workshop? What happens to the waste and by-products of production? Do the materials come from a local source? If not, are the materials fair trade materials? The ideal green furniture is assembled in an energy efficient workshop or factor that disposes of its waste responsibly and is made of recycled/recyclable materials that do not outgas and were harvested in such a way as to not disrupt the local environment of the materials. Buying green furniture that is made of local materials has an extra environmental benefit, because the materials did not have to be transported by air, land, or sea, causing additional pollution.
Is It Any Good?
For environmentally active people, there can be no other choice than green furniture. But what about people who generally don't become involved in environmental issues? Is all this extra hassle really worth it? And is the furniture any good?
Some people will never be believers about the impact of choosing green furniture on the environment, but there is one thing no one can dispute - green furniture has come a long way. Gone are they uncomfortable, unattractive plank wood furniture of old. Many furniture designers have turned their attentions to green design exclusively, and the result has been an explosion in the green furniture selection available. Now, you can find environmentally friendly furniture in all kinds of styles, materials, and colors. If you want to do your part for the environment, but you are also design conscious, green design furniture can now satisfy both your needs.
There are tons of great online resources to help you educate yourself further about green design furniture and to see what kind of products are out there. These sites can also help you figure out what counts as a green product and what doesn't, and questions to ask your furniture manufacturer about their environmental practices. Start your research by clicking on the links below: