Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about a sustainable lifestyle, which is no surprise considering the state of the environment. Zero-waste, eating more plant-based food is all fine, but when it comes to home improvement and sustainable lifestyle, there’s definitely room for improvement. Sustainable furnishings are slowly gaining traction, and for a reason, since they’re more durable and can reduce carbon footprint. So, if you’re looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle, furniture is also an important aspect of it. Here are some tips on how to recognize and pick the best green furniture.
First of all, know the difference
There is a difference between sustainable and green furniture. For starters, green furniture can be made of renewable materials, but only sustainable furniture should be able to last for a long time and have a smaller carbon footprint. High quality also matters, as you don’t want your furniture to fall apart after a year, because if that happens, it’s pretty much certain that your furniture will end up on a landfill, which only contributes to more waste and pollution. Generally, you should be focused on choosing durable furnishings that won’t need to be replaced often.
Learn to recognize what’s sustainable
When looking for sustainable furnishings, it’s important to know which materials to focus on. This can be difficult especially if you have no previous experiences with home improvement, or you’re just starting your eco-friendly life journey. Anyway, it’s essential to look for furniture made of wood and metal.
When it comes to wood, opting for eucalyptus, teak or bamboo is definitely good, as all of these trees are durable. Eucalyptus is low-maintenance and can be used to create anything, from cabinets to outdoor seating sets. Teak is also long-lasting and sturdy, and because of sustainable plantations, it’s definitely an eco-friendly choice. As for bamboo, this plant is versatile and can also be re-grown, which makes it a popular choice for sustainable furnishings.
Metal is also useful, especially aluminum, since it’s flexible and can also offer a unique aesthetic value to your home. Another sustainable metal is steel because it can be reused over and over again without losing its quality. Finally, you can also opt for plastic, but make sure that it’s recycled.
Don’t focus on furniture only
Choosing a sustainable sofa, bed and kitchen cabinets is great, but did you know that you can also choose other things for yourself that are also eco-friendly? That’s right, if you want your home to be completely sustainable, there are other things you can focus on, besides furniture. Obviously, you should always aim for decor pieces that are made of reusable and non-toxic materials, but even when buying certain pieces, it’s important to pay attention to fabrics and get to know more about the production process, if necessary. Having a jute natural rug is a great idea as they’re sturdy, and jute is often grown without fertilizer and fed only with rainwater, which makes it a great sustainable material. Besides, a lot of these rugs are hand-braided and ethically made which is often a great indicator that they’re actually eco-friendly.
Focus on durability, not the looks
If you’re already into an eco-friendly lifestyle, then designing your home sustainably is the next logical step. But, it’s important to know that when choosing sustainable furniture and decor pieces, you should focus more on the durability of each item than on the looks. Yet, many people tend to confuse sustainable with boring. So, if you’re looking to make your home sustainable, you should definitely know that you have a lot of freedom to do anything, just make sure that each piece you have can be recycled and reused for a longer period.
There are many fabrics, colors, and patterns that can still look elegant and stylish. In case you don’t know where to start, there are many sustainable home decor brands that have a wide variety of pieces. Even better, thrift shops can also be a great source of many interesting and valuable pieces such as bed linens, blankets, and sofa pillows. Cruising flea markets and thrift shops can be a creative and interesting, and very eco-friendly experience.
In conclusion, learning to recognize sustainable furnishings can take some time, but if you want to be sure, always remember to focus on wood and metal. Also, asking the manufacturer can be of great help. Instead of buying new pieces, you should concentrate on finding those that are eco-friendly, reusable and endurable.
Guest post by Lilly Miller
About the Author
Lilly Miller is a Sydney-based graphic designer and a passionate writer. Loves everything about home decor, art history and baking. Shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney.
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