Sustainable Furniture To Help Save Our Environment
Modified: March 31, 2022
Stop global warming by buying sustainable furniture products! Not only are they eco-friendly, but they also keep your family safe as they are toxic-free.
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Ever wonder why the weather keeps getting hotter every day? It’s because of ozone depletion. The ozone is responsible for absorbing the harmful UV (ultraviolet) radiation from the sun, so if it depletes, it can lead to climate change and environmental degradation. So, what’s the cause of ozone depletion? Greenhouse gases. A large percentage of these gases come from cars, but there’s another major contributor — furniture.
Unlike cars, furniture doesn’t release thick, white smoke so we think it is harmless to the environment. But a single piece of furniture produces tons of carbon footprint equivalent to gallons of burned petrol. Thankfully, many brands are now manufacturing sustainable furniture to reduce environmental impact.
What is Sustainable Furniture?
Sustainable furniture is eco-friendly furniture. It uses renewable sources and recyclable materials to avoid negatively affecting the environment. But more than that, this type of furniture is designed to last long. This is to prevent continuously cutting down so many trees to give enough time for forests to regenerate.
Reasons to Switch to Sustainable Furniture
When shopping for furniture, we can’t help but get attracted to those with lavish designs and affordable prices. We mean, who wouldn’t want to save huge bucks on exquisite furniture? We will only realize our mistake of buying them once they show signs of breaking after only a couple of uses. This is why you should invest in sustainable furniture.
Here are reasons why you should make the switch:
You Save Money and Energy
Not all of us have the luxury to buy quality sustainable furniture. We would still prefer to go for the more affordable ones as long as they are stylish. But, if you think something long-term, you will realize how much money you’ll end up saving if you buy sustainable furniture instead.
Most sustainable wooden furniture helps you save energy. Wood retains more heat than other building materials due to low thermal conductivity, so it helps insulate the house. You don’t have to turn the heaters on full blast, which reduces the amount of electricity and energy you use at home.
You Contribute to the Environment
Fast furniture is popular because it’s cheap, and most have an attractive design. However, it falls short when it comes to quality and functionality. Most would last only for a couple of years (or months), and eventually, you’ll have to throw them away. They will most likely end up in landfills and get burned.
Once the landfills are full, some of the garbage is incinerated, and this can cause greenhouse gas emissions to increase. With that, it is better to choose sustainable furniture to lessen negative environmental impacts. Sustainable furniture is durable, so you won’t have to dispose of them early, unlike fast furniture.
You Reduce Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
Did you know that your furniture can affect you and your family’s health? You might not see it, but some furniture pieces emit VOCs and other toxic chemicals that can be detrimental to one’s health. But the good news is that there are sustainable furniture pieces that are safe and free from chemicals. For example, instead of using chemical-based finishes, such furniture uses natural oil and beeswax.
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What Makes Furniture Sustainable?
Nowadays, environmentally-friendly products continue to be in demand because of the growing awareness of the global climate crisis. Furniture companies have started to manufacture sustainable furniture to answer the increasing demand for such products.
However, not all furniture companies have the same environmental concerns as their consumers. Some would claim their products are sustainable even if the materials used are not environmentally friendly. Others embellish their packaging with leaves and other nature symbols to deceive buyers. This is what we call “greenwashing”.
To avoid getting deceived, make sure to check these important factors when shopping for sustainable furniture:
Materials and Finishes
If you are new to buying eco-friendly furniture, always check if the material is made from natural wood. Natural wood is a renewable source as it grows easily; you only need water, sunlight, and fertile soil for it to grow. And, most of all, wood furniture is durable. Most could even last decades if given proper care. At the end of its life cycle, it may be recycled and turned into a new product.
Also, don’t forget to check the furniture finish. Some commercially produced wooden furniture uses toxic finishes such as solvent-based lacquers to make them more durable. However, these lacquers emit VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that can cause irritation and lung problems. It’s better to choose furniture with a water-based lacquer finish because it has low VOC.
Manufacturing and Transportation Process
Knowing what material was used is just the first step. You also have to dig deeper and know more about the furniture companies. Take some time to visit their website to learn about their manufacturing process. Do they use renewable energy and recyclable materials? If they produce wood furniture, do they throw away the bark, sawdust, and other wood waste, or do they use them as an energy source to run their facilities?
Part of the production and manufacturing process is the transportation of goods. So, find out if a furniture company is using energy-efficient vehicles and eco-friendly packaging to lessen its carbon footprint. You can also do your part by buying locally-sourced furniture. This will take less time to deliver, so less fuel is burned and used.
Even though we mentioned how wood is a sustainable furniture material, wood becomes an environmental problem if more trees are felled every year. Forests disappear, and this can affect wildlife and hasten climate change. This is why you should buy from furniture companies that use wood from sustainable forests. Various environmental organizations in the world manage these forests to keep a healthy ecosystem. Their practice involves planting seedlings right after felling a tree to avoid deforestation and habitat loss.
It’s easy to determine if a furniture company uses sustainably-sourced wood. You just have to check if they have any of these certifications from the largest wood certification programs:
- FSC (Forests Stewardship Council)
- SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative)
- ATFS (American Tree Farm System)
Keep in mind that sustainable furniture products are also made from recyclable materials, so check if it has a recycled content certification from SCS (Science Certification Systems) Global Services. They evaluate the sustainability of a company by scientifically testing their manufactured products.
Don’t forget that sustainable furniture should be safe for homes too. Look for those with an indoor air quality certification from CARB (California Air Resources Board) as they help measure the amount of formaldehyde in composite wood furniture. Exposure to formaldehyde is hazardous to health because it can trigger asthma and other allergic reactions.
Quality and Durability
Aside from eco-friendliness, you also have to consider the durability of the furniture. It should last long to give lots of time for forests to grow new trees and other natural resources. Sustainable furniture should also exhibit functionality and versatility. Remember, the purpose of furniture is to provide comfort and convenience to consumers, so you should consider this too.
Sustainable Furniture Selections
Here are some of the sustainable furniture products from Amazon that we recommend:
Build a conducive home office setup by buying this L-Shaped Computer Desk from Bestier. Made from particleboard, this home furniture mimics the natural look and feel of wood, adding sophistication to any room. It is also environmentally friendly as particleboard is made from scraps of manufactured wood (sawdust, wood shavings, and wood chips). Not to mention, this computer desk uses a CARB P2 particleboard. This means that the particleboard has lower formaldehyde emissions, so it helps improve indoor air quality.
Meanwhile, the frame is made from durable steel. You might be thinking that steel is not eco-friendly because it is not recyclable. That is a misconception. Steel is 100% recyclable, and the best part is, it retains its strength when processed into a new product.
- Extra-long desk
- Storage shelves
- Waterproof particleboard
- Available in different sizes and colors
- 4 adjustable shelves and 3 cable holes
- Overall dimensions are 59 inches x 59 inches x 29 inches
- Offers large legroom space
- Strong, load-bearing l-shaped desk
- Has cable holes for better wire management
- Removable middle-tier shelf to fit a tall CPU tower
- Confusing instruction manual
Keep shoes and sandals organized with this Shoe Rack from COSTWAY. It keeps footwear fresh with its breathable slatted shelves. In addition, this shoe rack is made from 100% natural bamboo. Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that takes only three to five years to grow, so it is considered a sustainable furniture material.
Moreover, bamboo furniture helps reduce landfill waste because it is biodegradable. It can be broken through natural means without adding pollution to the environment. Just like most sustainable wooden furniture, bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide, reducing its carbon footprint.
- Space-saving design
- 100% natural bamboo
- Breathable slatted shelves
- Weight capacity is 220 lb
- Available in 3 colors: Natural, Black, and White
- Overall dimensions are 28 inches X11 inches X18.5 inches
- Rounded corners prevent accidental injuries
- Ideal for walk-in closets, entryways, and foyers
- Can also be used as a side table or bed stool
- Most boots won’t fit
Minimalist furniture is attractive as it is easy on the eyes. It reduces visual clutter to create a more comfortable feel and look in homes. Take a look at this Coffee Table Nnewvante. It’s a simple piece of wooden furniture with no lavish colors and finishes, but it still looks exquisite. This is all thanks to the organic charm of bamboo. But more than having an aesthetic appearance, bamboo is also environmentally friendly.
- 2-tier open shelf
- Foldable coffee table
- 100% natural bamboo
- Minimalist, Scandinavian design
- Tabletop surface dimensions are 38.6 inches ×19.7 inches
- Overall dimensions when standing: 38.6 inches long, 19.7 inches wide, and 11.8 inches high
- No chemicals
- Ideal for small living rooms
- Adds extra storage space in the living room
- It wobbles a bit
Most kids’ furniture products are stained with colorful paints and finishes to make them look more appealing for children. However, most furniture paint can affect one’s health because it releases toxic chemical vapors and VOCs. If kids are exposed to such chemicals, this can lead to frequent headaches, dizziness, and breathing problems.
It’s better to choose furniture made from natural materials — just like this Table and Chair Set from Costzon. It doesn’t just have a cute design, but it’s also safe for kids as it is made from natural birch wood. Just like bamboo, the birch tree is fast-growing, so it has a very little environmental impact.
- Durable birch wood
- U-shaped structure
- High load-bearing capacity
- Package includes 1 table and 2 chairs
- Table size is 26.5 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 16 inches high
- Chair size is 11 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 12 inches high
- ASTM-certified so it is safe for kids
- No sharp edges that can cause injuries on children
- Ergonomic handles for easy lifting and moving
- Some coffee tables could have some scratches when shipped
Outdoor furniture should be durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions. Look for those made from PE wicker, a furniture material that is super strong and doesn’t fade fast, unlike upholstered furniture. Although PE wicker is synthetic rattan, it is still considered eco-friendly. It is non-toxic, 100% recyclable, and specially treated to last longer than other types of synthetic rattan.
Consider choosing this Outdoor Bistro Set from Flamaker if you decide to buy PE wicker furniture. Made from weather-resistant PE wicker, this bistro set is a great addition to a backyard or balcony. It features soft, cushioned seats to make outdoor lounging more comfortable. What’s more, the steel frame is powder-coated instead of painted. This coating process is safer for the environment as it doesn’t involve using toxic solvents.
- Soft seat cushions
- Simple, modern design
- Handwoven, weather-resistant PE wicker
- Weight capacity is 285 pounds
- Package includes 1 table, 2 armchairs, and 2 cushions
- Overall package dimensions are 33.8 inches x 22.5 inches x 22.5 inches
- Cushions come with easy to clean polyesters covers
- Tabletop tempered glass has glass suckers to prevent falling
- Difficult assembly
Create an inviting dining space with these Mid-Century Dining Chairs from Poly and Bark. It is a sustainable furniture product made from natural hemp rope seat and solid wood frame. Natural hemp is made from the strands of an herbaceous plant called Cannabis Sativa, a kind of plant that also grows fast. Hemp is more environmentally friendly compared to other natural rope materials as it needs less water to grow.
Furthermore, the solid wood frame is kiln-dried. A process that involves removing the excess moisture in the wood to prevent it from warping and twisting. This helps the furniture to last longer and be more resistant to pests.
- Handwoven rope seat
- Kiln-dried solid wood frame
- Beautiful mid-century style
- Includes 2 hemp seats
- Chair dimensions are 20.75 inches x 21.5 inches x 30.5 inches
- Made to last
- Readily assembled wishbone chairs
- Adds an organic touch to the dining room
- Not stackable
Here’s another sustainable outdoor piece of furniture on the list! Featuring the Modern Adirondack Chair from POLYWOOD, this outdoor furniture has a contoured seat for added comfort. It is also made from POLYWOOD lumber which comprises a plastic material called HDPE (high-density polyethylene). This is the same plastic used in manufacturing bottle caps, detergent containers, and milk jugs. It is a sustainable material because not only is it durable, but also recyclable.
Get to know more environmentally friendly Adirondack chairs by checking it out on our website!
- Durable POLYWOOD lumber
- Comfortable, contoured seat
- Easy to clean; use only soap and water
- Item weight is 24 pounds
- Overall dimensions are 32 inches x 29 inches x 34 inches
- No painting or staining required
- Has a waterfall front and slatted seat for easy drying
- Comes with a corrosion-resistant, marine-grade hardware
- High price tag
Do you need to replace your old steel bed frame? Consider buying this ZINUS Platform Bed! This is a piece of sustainable furniture as it is made from acacia, which is also a fast-growing tree like bamboo and birch. The advantage of using this platform bed is it keeps the bedroom dust-free. The wooden frame goes all the way down the floor, preventing the dust bunnies from gathering underneath.
- Modern, industrial design
- 100% solid acacia wood
- Exquisite natural wood grain
- 7-inch platform
- Overall product dimensions are 77.8 inches x 58 inches x 31.2 inches
- Easy assembly
- Has a slatted bed base to allow the mattress to breathe
- Made from solid wood and frame, this platform bed is built to last
- Short headboard
More and more sustainable furniture brands are emerging now that consumers are becoming more conscious of the environment. One of which is Sauder. Their furniture products are produced from engineered wood made up of wood trimmings and post-milling scraps. Moreover, they use residual sawdust to convert it to electrical energy.
This wooden storage cabinet is among the eco-friendly furniture products manufactured by Sauder. It has a beautiful salt oak finish with four adjustable shelves inside. You can use this cabinet to store electronics and appliances because it has cord access at the back.
- Adjustable shelves
- Beautiful salt oak finish
- Sustainable engineered wood
- This storage cabinet is 23.31 inches long, 17 inches wide, and 70.91 inches high
- Available in four different finishes: Salt Oak, Dakota Oak, Sienna Oak, and Soft White
- Can hold heavy items
- Offers large storage space
- Great for keeping pantries and living rooms clutter-free
- Not readily assembled
Reclaimed wood furniture is made from old repurposed wood. No additional trees are felled to manufacture such furniture, and this is what makes it sustainable.
This Barnwood End Table from Del Hutson Designs is an example of reclaimed wood furniture. Apart from being made from repurposed wood, this piece of furniture is handmade. Handmade products are considered environmentally friendly as they require less energy to produce. What’s more, it has an exquisite rustic design that makes homes look more inviting and relaxing.
- 100% reclaimed wood
- Beautiful rustic accent furniture
- Available in different colors
- Overall dimensions are 19.5 inches x 19.5 inches x 23 inches
- Readily assembled table
- Adds an organic touch in a room
- Can be used as a side table in the bedroom or living room
- Wood is not sanded
Go Green with Sustainable Furniture!
Sustainable furniture is a smart choice. It has a minimal carbon footprint, and at the same time, it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals. You can rest assured that you and your family live in a healthy home if you buy and use such green furniture. Not to mention, they look stylish and exquisite, so you can use them to improve the overall appearance of your abode. If you’re ready to live in a sustainably stylish home, just go back and review our product recommendation list above for affordable and exquisite green furniture options.