The climate is changing at a rapid pace, but it does not mean that you cannot play a signifianct role in doing things more sustainably. You can easily start with creating a smart plan to buy sustainable and Second Hand Appliances and furniture instead of giving in to the rapidly growing fast furniture industry. Sustainability has increasingly become more and more important in the field of furniture, and many companies are actively marketing their products as state-of-the-art models when it comes to sustainability.
However, claims can be misleading, so if you wish to buy truly sustainable furniture pieces, you will have to tread carefully. This article will provide you with some tips to help you buy furniture sustainably. It draws on some of the great guides on more sustainability in the furniture industry written by Interiorbeat.
Mind the materials
The materials are the most impactful factor when it comes to sustainability, so you might want to deal with it first before handling the other factors. Not all materials are made equal, and some will have more impact on the environment than others. Wooden materials are among the most sustainable choices because they come from renewable sources. However, they can be quite expensive at times, and not all furniture pieces can be made from wood.
Plastic has a pretty bad reputation as a material, but if you can get furniture pieces made out of recycled plastic, it will be a great help to the environment. Recycled plastic that is used to make furniture will not end up in landfills, the ocean, and the countryside, greatly alleviating the current plastic pollution situation. If you buy furniture that is made mostly of metals, keep in mind that some metals such as aluminum can also be recycled as well.
Using metal products, especially the ones made out of steel is considered sustainable as they can be recycled with little maintenance. Using metals isn’t difficult and you can do them yourself with enough help from blogs like MetalProfy. People usually assume that metals are not eco-friendly as they often associate metal products with big machinery and manufacturing, but in fact, they are naturally occurring and easily recyclable.
Check the manufacturing processes
How furniture is made is also a contributing factor to its overall sustainability. Sustainable furniture features a smart manufacturing process that does not involve toxic chemicals that can severely harm the environment. The process should also use renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or hydro energy.
Many companies are quite transparent about their manufacturing processes, and they tend to post this information on their website for your information. You can also rely on eco-labels such as Greenguard or EPD to determine whether the manufacturing process is truly sustainable or not.
The carbon footprint of the global furniture supply chain is surprisingly high, so if possible, you should buy furniture from your local supplier instead of from an international chain. The closer you are to the manufacturing factory, the less carbon footprint the whole supply chain will produce, minimizing harmful effects on the environment.
Durability is the key
Furniture that breaks down after just a couple of years is a bane for the environment, as you will have to constantly replace these pieces, further increasing your negative carbon footprint on the environment. The right furniture pieces should be easy to repair, and they should also be easily disassembled for any future recycling attempts. Try to avoid pieces that use too much glue, because they are typically not very easy to disassemble.
Some companies offer a buyback scheme in which they will buy back your furniture pieces at the end of their life cycle. These pieces will then be broken apart and recycled, ensuring that the carbon emission will be kept at a minimal level. If you wish to reduce your impact on the environment, these are the companies you should support.
Never underestimate the power of small changes. Buying furniture responsibly and sustainably is a great step towards making changes to the world, and if enough people are doing it, the world will become a much better place. The key is to be more mindful of the processes behind the products and to make conscious decisions.