Sustainable Home Furnishings – What to Look for and How To Buy

What do the following words have in common?

  • Green;
  • Sustainable;
  • Eco-friendly; and
  • Environmentally friendly

For purposes of this blog post they all describe high-quality home furnishings that are made following the 3 Rs of sustainable practices,

  1. Reuse;
  2. Reduce; and
  3. Recycle

Today, many people are unhappy buying home furnishings that are not sustainable. Concerns over climate change, cutting down forests, ruining animal habitats and other reasons brought them to the point where if it is not sustainable furnishings it does not belong in their home. Nevertheless, these forward thinkers enjoy home furnishings that are of great quality and highly attractive. Fortunately, sustainable furnishings easily meet those criteria. So, following are some tips for making sure your home furnishing purchases are for sustainable items.

Tips for Buying Sustainable Home Furnishings

These five tips for buying home furnishings offered below help you insure that your home furnishing purchases are for products that use environmentally friendly and sustainable materials. Also, included is a tip about where to buy and not what to buy.

Tip 1. Buy Home Furnishings Locally

The damage to the environment does not end with wood harvested in an unsustainable way or furniture made in factories that pollute the environment before being shipped across the country or the globe.

When you buy furnishings made locally, you eliminate a great deal of the huge carbon footprint found by buying a product made far from your home. Eliminating long travel distances is a great start in furnishing your home in an eco-friendly way.

Tip 2. Buy Antique or Used Furniture

This is reuse at its best. Second-hand furniture is a fantastic way to inexpensively furnish your home with well-built, good-looking furniture that will not break the bank. Think of garage sales and for higher quality, including antiques estate sales. When you buy antique or used furniture, finding it is an exciting experience.

Tip 3. Look for the Logo of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

The FSC Logo is your assurance that any piece of wooden furniture is manufactured or crafted using only wood from a forest that is sustainably managed. The logo also is a consumer’s assurance that the wood was treated in a place that does not lead to a decline in the biodiversity of the natural habitat for local fauna and flora.

Tip 4. Choose Materials that Are Sustainable

Bamboo is a fast-growing wood that is often used in furniture and flooring. Bamboo grows more quickly than most other trees including oak and maple. It is durable, attractive and of high quality. Wood of any kind is biodegradable and that alone makes it a clear choice over synthetic materials that do not breakdown (plastic is one example). If from a sustainably managed forest, environmental damage is far less than by lumber companies stripping the Amazon of its rain forests.

Fabrics should be all natural

Tip 5. Spend More for the Quality You Want

If you spend a little more for high quality sustainable furniture than it is a good bet you will keep it – maybe for a life-time. So, try to buy every piece of furniture just once. It is one of the best ways to keep your personal environmental impact low.

Maximizing for home sustainability allows homeowners and renters to maintain a low carbon footprint without giving up quality or appearance.


Image: Houzz