There are a lot of different ways of going green with your furniture. You can make your own, look for recycled or easily biodegradable materials, or find chairs made from renewable resources. There are a lot of great ways to be a little more environmentally conscious with your choices.
ReuseOne of the easiest ways to find an eco-friendly chair is to rescue a piece that is about to be thrown away. Since the resources have already been used to make this type of piece, giving it a longer shelf life is a great way to prevent build up in landfills. You can find pre-used furniture by looking for free items on craigslist or doing curb checks around your neighborhood for items about to be thrown out. When you find this type of piece, a few repairs, refinishing, or recovering can make it work as good as new.
Keep an eye out for friends and family who are about to buy new furniture as well. If they intend to throw out the old furniture, see if there is anything you can do to give the piece new life and keep it functionally in your home for years to come.
Make Your Own
One way to ensure your chairs are eco-friendly is to make them yourself out of recyclable material like cardboard. There are many sites online that will explain how this is done and offer you patterns to make your own cardboard furniture. With the right design, these pieces can be surprisingly strong and attractive. With a trip to the local store for their unused cardboard boxes and a small, sharp knife, you can be well on your way to great furniture that preserves the environment and shows off your sense of style and creativity.
If you have a little skill with woodworking, you can also make your own chairs out of scrap plywood that is about to be thrown away. Saving these materials before they end up in a dumpster and using them for something new and exciting is both fulfilling and a great way to help save the environment. Just be sure not to use any harmful chemicals, like strong wood glues, in your construction.
Some materials are just better for the environment than others. They are not harmful to animals, come from renewable resources, and don’t use harmful chemicals that can leach into the earth and groundwater. It can be hard to know where to look for these items, but thankfully the internet is full of eco-friendly opportunities.
Some eco-friendly chairs pride themselves on being made out of recycled and reclaimed materials. Try to find the highest percentage recycled that you can in order to get the most benefit from this technique. Reclaimed hardwood is a great material that can result in beautiful chairs. Try to find products that use only low VOC finishes as well, since other finishes are strong and contain harmful chemicals.
Other eco-friendly chairs focus on using renewable and animal friendly resources. Wicker and bamboo chairs are a great example of materials that are eco-friendly and easily renewable. Harvested wood that comes from tree farms is also an earth friendly material and doesn’t endanger natural forests. Try to look for natural, animal free products like cotton in your eco-friendly chairs as well. This ensures that no animals were harmed or killed. The farming of animals causes a high amount of pollution each year, and decreasing the demand will decrease this effect.
There are plenty of options for the savvy furniture shopper who wants to be a little kinder to the environment.