Sustainable Furniture: A World of Difference
To date, the United States leads the entire world in terms of wood consumption. We also have some of the best programs in place for ecosystem rejuvenation. But even with all of our conservation efforts, we are consuming more than we can replace. America is responsible for over 1/3 of the lumber imports in the world, but we only sustain less than a quarter of the wood population. Forests are falling faster than we can re-plant them. Because of this, it is growing increasingly important that we do our part and help conserve resources. One way to do this is to invest in sustainable furniture.
Most eco friendly furniture is made of wood, as plastic is detrimental to the environment and stone is impractical as a portable furniture material. But statistically, and according to data published by the World Wildlife Fund, we could satisfy the world’s wood needs with only 20% of our forests, if we choose to rely on sustainable and reclaimed (or recycled) wood products.
The main problem is that wood is cut freshly to build our furniture, and then it is dumped and wasted after the furniture has been enjoyed. If more of our furniture is derived from composite and reclaimed natural wood products, we will not be affecting standing forests but rather unwanted and already deceased wood. This will give our forests time to grow and sustain themselves, to be harvested (and recycled, and so on) on a far later date. Sustainable green furniture is perhaps the simplest and most effective way you can help and protect our sustainable resources, and cull our world’s overconsumption of wood products.
As an additional conservation measure, you can try and find eco friendly furniture derived from secondary species. “Secondary species” are wood specimens that are closely related to popular wood types. For example, California oak is a secondary species that is similar in texture, appearance, and quality to standard eastern oak, but harvesting California oak gives standard oak more time to grow and reinvigorate itself. Essentially, investing in secondary species is a way to give our over-cut plants a chance to catch a breather.
Finally, to insure that your furniture is assisting environmental sustainability, try and purchase wood furniture with an approval sticker from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sierra Club, or the Rainforest Alliance. This sticker designates that your furniture meets the quality standards developed by these conservation programs, and should be acceptable as an eco-friendly substitute for other furniture. With the perfect eco friendly furniture, you will truly be doing your part to conserve our planet, even as you design your home with style and fashion.
- Green My Home design blog
A new blog devoted to sustainability and the use of reclaimed, environmentally safe furniture and interior accessories for the modern, green-conscious home. How is your carbon footprint affecting our world?
- Sustainable handmade bespoke furniture and cabinet maker designed to commission.
Committed to producing furniture that will far surpass our lifetimes and be looked upon and enjoyed as antiques by future generations.
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