Moving into a new home or giving your childhood home a fresh look can be an exciting project. But at the same time, it could be a nerve-racking experience. Many factors need to be considered, such as the theme (modern or traditional), the layout and floor plan, the decor, and budget, among others. One factor that gets overlooked though is, how to make your home as eco-friendly as possible. Be for your bedroom, receiving area, office, your children’s toys, or dining furniture, eco-friendly furniture should not only be recommended but also required.
In a world where we have ever-growing environmental problems, one way to stop the constant degradation of our environment is to use eco-friendly materials starting in our homes. Around the world, laws have been implemented to protect the environment, from banning all types of plastic to pesticides to coal. It is our responsibility to improve the conditions of the environment. One way we could do our part is by using eco-friendly home furniture.
In the time of COVID-19, where we are spending more time than ever at home, it is the best and most obvious place to start this change.
Check what materials that cabinet or coffee table is made of. Being extra sensitive helps identify toxic materials and chemicals that may have gotten involved in its manufacturing process. Very seldom do we consider this factor, and chances are, we become culprits of tolerating these activities without putting effort into asking. Some of the chemicals you should keep an eye out for and avoid, are Formaldehyde and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).
Formaldehyde can be found in the paint and glue of wood-based furniture. Home furniture containing Formaldehyde should be avoided because this becomes gas and affects the air you breathe at home. This is not only harmful to you but all living things. So, if you have a pet or flower bed, they could get affected. The sad part also is when you dispose of it, it also becomes toxic to animals and aquatic life, and instantly becomes a pollutant. Be discerning in choosing your home furniture and aim for Formaldehyde-free furniture or with significantly reduced levels of Formaldehyde.
Another harmful substance to avoid is PVC or more commonly known as vinyl. Dubbed by Greenpeace as “poison plastic”, it is commonly found in home furnishings, construction materials, and many others.
Research the brand
Support only the companies that are committed to sustainability and who put efforts into meeting the increasing demand for eco-friendly home furniture. You can easily distinguish these brands if they use reclaimed, responsibly sourced, sustainable, and toxin-free materials. Consider furniture made from materials that assure you of longevity, availability, and affordability. This way, you could avoid dumping the non-functional one to buy a new one each time. For the purpose of maintaining the furniture natural timber oil is considered eco-friendly and a non-toxic alternative.
For example, IKEA is one of the few companies that employ a sustainable business model. With the wide range of products it offers, IKEA uses sustainable wood sourced from managed forests. Their products are composed of responsibly sourced wool, providing only energy-efficient LEDs to conserve less energy. It is also committed to only using recycled or renewable-based plastic in their products. To boot, IKEA does this while providing inexpensive yet high-quality products.
If there are major retailers as well as small-medium enterprises in the furniture industry that are not yet committed to providing materials that are recyclable and renewable, demand for change. Most companies, if not all, should have now started employing green initiatives in their business platform. However, if you find it hard to find a retailer that provides eco-friendly furniture, you could find a local furniture store that is willing to do custom-made home furniture. Let them know that you prefer furniture made free of harmful chemicals and that you don’t mind using renewable and recyclable materials. There are mould treatments for wood available that will help protect the furniture and make it look as good as new.
To step up your eco-friendly game a notch higher, you could also take care of the environment at home by implementing the following strategies:
(1) consuming less water
(2) consuming less electricity
(3) avoiding using single-use plastic
(4) switching to the usage of energy-efficient light bulbs.
The only way we could move forward with the new normal is by preserving and conserving the environment through sustainable living and this should be non-negotiable.