With things starting to green up outside, it’s a good time to think about ways you and your family can go green outside as well. This summer, why not choose sustainable outdoor furniture? You may have to search a bit farther and wider than your typical big box store, but there are plenty of places you can buy green furniture.
But before we get to the where, let’s talk about the why. Why should you consider sustainable outdoor furniture this summer? Three reasons:
It’s Good for the Environment
Buying green outdoor furniture this summer can help the environment in a couple of different ways. The first way is it will help to reduce the amount of furniture that ends up in landfills, and the second way is that it promotes more sustainable forestry.
Many people think of landfills as ugly, smelly places, and while they are undoubtedly hard on the eyes and the nose, they are also hard on the environment. Landfills have a tendency to emit toxic gases and some landfills which have not been designed properly can even pollute local water supplies. Even more dangerous is the fact that many landfill management companies use combustion as a way to destroy the garbage. But combustion actually creates carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming.
Sustainable forests are vital to the well being of the planet. Furniture made from sustainable forests means it was made from a type of fast-growing plant product such as bamboo. These plants are able to regenerate quickly which prevents degradation of the forest.
It’s Good For Your Health
Many consumers are unaware that unsustainable furniture is made with very toxic chemicals. One example of a hazardous material found in many furniture items is composite wood. Composite wood is actually made with formaldehyde, a chemical commonly used in laboratories to preserve tissue samples. It is a known carcinogen and can contribute to asthma and allergies in small children (Are your floors emitting formaldehyde?).
Other toxic chemicals used in furniture are fire retardants. These have been linked to cancer and birth defects. Green furniture designers use safer retardants and non-toxic chemicals which won’t harm you and your family.
It’s Good for Your Wallet
Sustainable outdoor furniture can save you money in a couple of ways: although some may cost more to purchase upfront, sustainable furniture is built to last and built to weather all kinds of weather, which means you won’t have to purchase new deck chairs in 3 years.
Also, since it is safer and made with natural ingredients and not toxic chemicals, this furniture can also help to cut down on medical bills. Allergies may not be life-threatening per se, but the doctor bills and prescription medication can really add up.
Where Can You Find Sustainable Outdoor Furniture?
More and more manufacturers are turning to greener manufacturing methods and materials. Doing a quick search online will turn up many sources of sustainable outdoor furniture.
Another idea is to look in your local area for any craftsmen and women who may make outdoor furniture, like Adirondack chairs, from reclaimed wood and other materials. This is a great way to not only support the environment but local businesses as well.
And finally, you can look at sites such as Craigslist or eBay to find people in your area who are selling their used outdoor furniture. Buying someone’s wicker chair or old picnic table is a very green way to shop because you ensure this furniture doesn’t end up in a landfill somewhere.
Make this summer your greenest one yet by buying sustainable furniture that will last for ages, save you money, and save the environment at the same time!
Categories: Green Living