Why Is Sustainable Furniture Important?
You may ask yourself why is sustainable furniture so important in protecting the environment. Here we will go through the main reasons in more detail as to why choosing sustainable furniture is vital from a business's and from a consumer's point of view.
1. Reducing Carbon Emissions
A report conducted by "Furniture Industry Research Association" found that average CO2 emissions produced by furniture are equivalent to that produced by 5.3 gallons of petrol. The highest carbon footprint of furniture items coming from sofas, with CO2 emissions equating to 10.1 gallons of petrol. This is mainly due to the petroleum based synthetic foams and fillings.
By choosing eco friendly furniture such as paulownia wood furniture with minimal additional materials you are in fact buying a small part of a network of carbon sinks. For example, according to paulowniatrees.eu the paulownia tree absorbs as much as 10 times more CO2 emissions than any other tree species.
2. Reducing Landfill Waste
According to "RightGreen" The amount of furniture thrown away in the UK each year is equivalent to 4.2 million two-seater sofas or 672,000 tonnes. One reason for this is low quality furniture that breaks easily.
Opting for higher quality furniture materials such as solid acacia wood furniture will last longer as they are more resistant to wear and can be easily upcycled with paint or alternatively sold on as a high quality piece. Another solution is to buy homeware items that reduce the need for waste such as reusable coffee pods, as well as buying biodegradable and shatter resistance goods such as bioplastic mugs.
3. Reducing Chemical Waste
Chemical waste from furniture includes glues and flame retardants. Glues are typically found mostly in chipboard furniture creating an environmental chemical hazard when discarded, in addition to making the item near on impossible to recycle. A similar material that is still cheap but has a much lower glue content is particleboard furniture. Alternatively, solid wood goes one step further with very little chemical content if any. Mango wood furniture is probably the best example of this.
4. Supporting Small Businesses
In general it is the smaller businesses who take the additional time and effort to ensure the sourcing of materials and transport of products is sustainable.
Many larger companies are so large and profitable due to the quick turnover of goods and constant need for endless expansion without regard to environmental consequences. It is almost inconceivable that it seems that some well known companies make their products flawed to break at a certain point to encourage their loyal customers to buy replacements quicker than necessary. Furthermore, by choosing sustainable furniture you are supporting small businesses and the livelihoods of individuals within that business.