Eco-Decorating: Spring Cleaning or Spring GREENING Bookmark and Share

Klaussner, Simple Elegance, 131-11-1435
Okay, "green" is the talk of the town, from apparel to cereal to headphones to shampoo. People want healthy alternatives, but they just haven't thought about it with furniture. The good news is there are lots of innovative ways to be conscious of your environmental impact on the earth without sacrificing an ounce of beauty.

When it comes to decorating, it's not just a matter of style, color and design anymore. We need to be alert to what goes into furniture and how to find safe and functional alternatives.

Let's discuss a few basics. One of the most common words used in the conversation and explanation of eco-friendly programs is the word "sustainable". Sustainable development is "development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

Many home furnishings companies are now strong supporters of "sustainability" issues. In fact, The Sustainable Furniture Council was formed to support eco-friendly home furnishings. The Council is a non-profit balanced coalition of industry players created to promote sustainable practices among manufacturers, retailers, and consumers alike with a public tagging program to identify good choices.

Casana, Samuel Frederick Fine Furniture, 184-12-1081 Sustainability of our forests is obviously a frequent topic in the context of the environment. Sustainable forestry consists of management practices that ensure the health and growth of our forests for future generations. As the population expands and the economy grows, responsible people are concerned about our forests, and they want assurances that our forests will always be there. In the context of furniture, non-toxic and natural American hardwoods are among the most sustainable materials on earth. Unlike composites or synthetics, solid wood responsibly grown and managed offers generations of beauty and comfort.

Sustainability of our forests is obviously a frequent topic in the context of the environment. Sustainable forestry consists of management practices that ensure the health and growth of our forests for future generations. As the population expands and the economy grows, responsible people are concerned about our forests, and they want assurances that our forests will always be there. In the context of furniture, non-toxic and natural American hardwoods are among the most sustainable materials on earth. Unlike composites or synthetics, solid wood responsibly grown and managed offers generations of beauty and comfort.

Here's a shortlist of ways to make your home greener.
  • Seek Out and Buy Green Products
  • Buy Things That Last
  • Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
  • Use Less Bottled Water
  • Reduce Energy Use
  • Choose Renewable Energy
  • Buy an Energy Efficient Vehicle
  • Minimize E-waste (computers, cell phones, etc)
"Greening" your home might seem like an overwhelming and never-ending chore, but it does not have to be. As with any major project, do it in steps and with a plan in place. You might want to choose just one room as opposed to an entire home.

Custom-made sofas, love-seats, chairs and ottomans are now available with solid rock maple for frames, steel bases and cores for cushions and bases, and 100-percent organic cotton batting, canvas and filling. Since natural dyes don't work well with the large quantities of fabric necessary in furniture making, you might find a naturally colored organic cotton fiber available in a choice of green, brown or natural.

Metals such as stainless steel, brass, wrought iron and chrome are other environmental options that save on resources and avoid chemicals, while offering sturdy, long-lasting furniture. Many retailers carry metal furniture pieces and patio furniture, which can be moved inside and decorated. Conventional mattresses contain chemically treated plastics, foams and polyester fills, which may also contain residual herbicides and pesticides. These synthetic materials are known carcinogens and may also be the cause of poor health and sleeplessness.

Here are a few tips that might be helpful:

Bedrooms
Make your bedroom a green bedroom! Eco-friendly beds offer a non-toxic night's sleep and beauty to your room! Most conventional beds are made of pressed wood such as particleboard, chipboard, and wafer board, which contain formaldehyde and synthetic adhesives. Green homes have beds made from high-quality, all-natural sustainably harvested hardwoods with minimal glues, dyes or stains.

Sofas
There are already many choices of leading environmental furniture companies to bring you affordable, sustainable, non-toxic sofas and other furniture. There are many elements that go into making a green sofa, including wood manufactured from sustainable harvested trees, rubber that is also sustainable-harvested, and if there is any plastic, it is minimal and/or recycled. In addition, a green sofa is sturdy and ergonomically designed.

But What About Style?
Schnadig, Madison Manor, 157-10-1228 When it comes to upholstery, you don't have to settle for plain brown burlap fabric to be environmentally friendly. Organic cottons, hemp, recycled materials and fabrics that haven't been bleached, treated with harsh shampoos, or colored with synthetic dyes are among the many fashionable options now available. Many collections feature nature-inspired fabric designs, available in dozens of rich colors that are certified organic and contain no carcinogens or toxins. Those wool materials are supplied from free-range farms and the ramie fiber is organic. Hemp is a durable, natural fabric that doesn't rely on pesticides and isn't bleached. Many hemp blends and fabrics are suitable for window treatments and upholstery. The hemp fabrics dye more readily than cotton or linen, and thus eliminate the need for a chemical-laden pre-wash. While seeking the most in environmental furniture, don't overlook construction materials. Glues, finishes, stains and waxes can also be a source of unwanted chemicals.

Whatever Eco-Friendly option you choose, you'll feel good knowing that you've surrounded yourself and decorated your home with our planet's future in mind.

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