How to furnish your home in an eco-friendly sustainable way

Every year, almost 40 million acres of the world’s forests are chopped down, some never to be replaced. Unsustainable forestry and consumption are difficult to stop, but by doing your part at home you can make a real, measurable different.

These five furniture tips will help you furnish and decorate your home using eco-friendly, sustainable materials. Keep them in mind next time you visit a furniture store and make sure you buy sustainable, earth-friendly products.

1.     Buy furniture locally

The ecological damage doesn’t end with unsustainable forestry. Many sofas, chairs, and desks are produced in eco-unfriendly factories before being shipping or flown across the world to their target markets.

Buying locally lets you bypass the huge carbon footprint produced by moving sofas and other furniture halfway around the world. Search for furniture that’s produced in – or close to – your city for a more eco-friendly way to furnish your home.

2.     Look for the FSC logo

In the United Sates, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo indicates that a chair, table, or other type of wooden furniture has been produced using wood gathered at a sustainably managed forest.

The FSC logo also indicates that the wood wasn’t treated in a facility that leads to a decline in biodiversity of natural habitat for local flora and fauna.

3.     Choose sustainable materials

Not all of the world’s forests are at risk. Certain materials, such as bamboo, grow in a fraction of the time required to regrow an oak or gumwood forest. Wheat and hemp are also classified as sustainable materials for use in fabric and cushioning.

When it comes to cotton furniture, search for organic, all-natural variants and avoid using synthetic fabrics. Other synthetic materials, such as plastic, can take hundreds or thousands of years to break down when disposed of.

4.     Spend more for better quality

One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact is to only buy furniture once. Instead of reducing your budget and shopping for low quality furniture that will eventually need to be replaced, aim to buy each item just one time.

Increase your budget and search for furniture that’s solidly built using high quality, environmentally sustainable materials. This way, you’ll never have to replace your sofa and encourage additional manufacturing.

5.     Shop for used or antique furniture

Discourage manufacturing and consumption of resources by shopping for used or antique furniture. Second-hand furniture is a great choice for cheaply furnishing your home, whether it’s a leather sofa or a bedside table.

Antique furniture is also an excellent choice, particularly if your home has an old-fashioned, classic aesthetic. Search for sofas, recliners, and other items in a local antique store – you may be surprised by what you can find.

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