Eco Furniture

Eco furniture provides virtually all types of furniture needed in a home. It ranges from various types of beds to dining room tables, chairs and stools to seating and storage for living rooms, children's rooms and office furniture and even outdoor furniture.

In this age, when the planet green is going through an environmental crisis and energy efficient homes are the need of the hour, we must be very careful while selecting furniture for our homes.

When looking for eco furniture remember the '3Rs' - reduce, reuse and recycle. Avoid filling space in your home unnecessary. Make sure every piece of furniture fulfills a function.

When buying timber furniture for your eco homes, select materials and products that originate locally, thereby avoiding large transport costs.

Ensure that the timber is certified as ecologically sound. Look for products certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). It can be safely relied upon.

Many natural materials are not very sustainable. Wood is one example, while there are many sustainable forests that grow timber for commercial use but more exotic woods such as mahogany or teak are often plundered from the forests.

And as these trees take decades to grow, the wood becomes scarcer. Furniture that makes use of these woods becomes increasingly expensive.

Although wood is becoming scarcer by the day, there are ways eco furniture and furnishings can be made in a sustainable way. For example, The furniture made out of -

  • Reclaimed Wood
  • Recycled Wood
  • Imitation Wood

The definition of sustainable furniture includes using materials that have been recycled or re-purposed or are made from a renewable resource. The manufacturing processes used are also safer for the environment.

Eco furniture can also be made from reclaimed materials. These materials may include wood, iron and glass.

These materials come from old buildings no longer in use, barns, bridges, ships, warehouses etc. Old wood salvaged from them comes in the form of beams, lumber, flooring, doors, windows, cabinets etc.

The wood taken from these places is reprocessed. It can be used in the environmentally friendly houses for many purposes such as flooring, decks, fences, doors, furniture etc. or it is used as it is.

Metal components are used in furniture to provide strength and durability. All metals come from non-renewable sources and consume energy in production. It is important to ensure recycled metals are used in eco furniture.

There are also plenty of eco friendly alternatives to wood too. Some eco furniture can be made from all sorts of recycled and manufactured materials that can look just like wood.

Finishes on any furniture is just as important as the materials. Ensure that finishes such as paints, varnishes etc. and glues used are non-toxic.

New green eco friendly furniture can be identified in the following ways -

  1. Solid wood from sustainable harvested forests is used in place of plywood or particle board.
  2. Recycled or refurbished material is used to create the furniture.
  3. Plant materials that have a faster re-growth rate are used, for example, bamboo.
  4. Naturally occurring materials are used as these are bio-degradable.
  5. Organic cloth or fabric is used in the furniture.
  6. Natural materials are used in place of harsh chemicals and toxic materials such as dyes, glues, paints, stains, resins and varnishes.
  7. Soft furnishings that can be removed for washing are used.
  8. Organic fabrics and natural fillings and paddings are used.

Things to be avoided in the furniture -

  1. Particle or composite boards that have urea or formaldehyde.
  2. Furniture made from tropical hardwood.
  3. Foam and plastic-filled furniture.
  4. Laminated finishes.
  5. Upholstered furniture.
  6. Finishes that are high in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
  7. Metal coatings that include chrome, lead or nickel.
  8. Stain-resistance treatments containing fluorocarbons or formaldehydes.

By buying hardwood eco furniture, we help reduce carbon emitted from making composite or fake wood to a great extent.

Fabrics are an essential part of any furniture. Not only they add color, pattern and texture but fabrics also help reduce heat loss from a room when used to cover energy efficient windows. Using eco fabrics like recycled vintage cottons, organic wool, organic alpaca, recycled or vintage fabrics, organic linens etc. brings a richness to the interiors.

The key to buying eco furniture is to ensure that it is to not taking from the environment more than can be replenished naturally. This includes the materials that the furniture is made from to the toxic chemicals that are emitted from the manufacturing plant where the furniture is created and finally creative recycling of the used product.

With wide range of eco friendly products and furniture available in the market now-a-days, it is possible to completely decorate your home with these without compromising on function, style or costs.

Use hard and real wood from sustainable forests for eco furniture. Make your home stylish and save mother earth.

Go to Eco Homes hub page Eco Homes;
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Sushil Wadhwa

Sushil Wadhwa
Architect, Interior Designer, creator of Homes and Interiors... more.