How to Go Green with Your Furniture

Making friends with Mother Nature by adopting green shopping practices, doesn’t require an infinite checking account or exasperating effort. Instead, making your home greener by purchasing efficient furniture is simple and actually coincides with any budget.

While many assume that green furniture is noticeably different than traditional decor, the method of production and the materials used are actually what differentiate environmentally friendly furnishings from their conventional counterparts.

As consumers we have become more concerned with business practices and purchasing environmentally friendly, companies have begun to use greener materials and production conventions, giving buyers additional options and choice. Furniture styles and types that are increasingly purchased will remain produced, giving buyers a larger amount of authority regarding the incorporation of green practices and materials used by a variety of manufacturers. Here are some guidelines to help you make environmentally conscious choices for your home:

Green Furniture: How It Relates to Sustainability

Materials used, production practices and shipping procedures are all factors that can make the furniture more or less environmentally friendly from its conception to the time it takes a place within the home or office. The way the furniture is used within its new environment and how long it lasts from the time of production can also affect how green it is. A dining room table that only lasts a couple of years and must later be replaced is not considered as sustainable as a table that is longer lasting and does not require replacement for a very long time.

Consider Materials Characteristics

Understanding which materials are more sustainable than others can seem confusing at first glance. Yet, uncovering whether a piece of furniture is comprised of environmentally friendly materials can be as simple as considering the characteristics of what the furnishing is made of. Sustainable materials should be easily renewed within the environment. When a material is taken from the environment, such as wood, sustainable forms should be easy to replace or re-grow, whether naturally or unnaturally. In addition to using renewable materials, green furniture should not exude unhealthy bi-products.

Production Practices

Emissions, employee practices and even how far a piece of furniture must be shipped to reach your home or office can make it more or less green. The health of the environment is dependent on the care of people residing within as well as the natural resources surrounding.

Narrowing the Options

Many of the products used to create a piece of furniture, from start to finish, must be considered in order to understand how sustainable it is, if at all. Goods used to finish furnishings, like stains and paints may pose more of a problem than the actual wood or other material, used.

New to You

Furniture that is recycled or vintage may be a great option when seeking sustainable furniture options and reducing waste. Both options can fulfill a purpose, while providing unique style, without the manufacturing and shipping required of new furniture. Although both options can be great ways to reduce our carbon footprints, pay close attention to what they are made of in order to reduce negative bi-products stemming from materials used, including paints and varnishes.

Eric Munoz owns a wood furniture design company in Houston that can custom build pieces from scratch or duplicate existing pieces. He has over 10 years of experience working with his hands. Visit his site at

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