It's true... the planet is getting warmer, and the evidence is stacked against us as the culprits. Thankfully many have stepped up and made drastic changes to their lifestyles opting for a greener existence. Recycling, conserving energy, eating less meat, riding a bike to work... there are many ways for us to reduce our environmental footprint and every little bit helps. Whether you want to go all out with the personal sacrifices or just incorporate more easily digestible changes like reusable shopping bags and carpooling, every green effort is worthy and important. For those of us redecorating or in the middle of a big move, new furniture may be on the horizon, so why not consider taking the opportunity to invest in some high quality, environmentally friendly pieces?
Furniture Manufacturers Focusing on Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Furniture
One encouraging trend in contemporary home furnishings is an emphasis on eco- friendly furniture. Copeland Furniture is one company that embraces this mission, producing heirloom-quality furniture while incorporating truly impressive green policies. Copeland uses only sustainably harvested American Northern Forest hardwoods found within 500 miles of their manufacturing center, drastically reducing the amount of fossil fuel used to transport their materials. They are dedicated to low chemical emissions and maintain a stringent, reduced waste policy. Due to their exacting standards, Copeland is one of the few furniture manufacturers to be awarded Silver Exemplary Membership Status by the Sustainable Furnishings Council. Their stunning Exeter Dining Room Collection is a lovely statement piece that speaks to your dedication to the environment while enriching your home with the warm glow of natural hardwood.
Greenington Furniture is another company truly dedicated to helping the environment; however, their approach is a bit different in that they've ditched traditional hardwoods all together. Greenington Furniture is beautifully crafted in 100% Moso bamboo. 20% harder than red oak, Moso bamboo is a grass that can grow to maturity in less than five years and releases 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than the equivalent stands of trees. Most furniture companies have long since switched to plantation grown hardwood, harvesting only from regulated plantations and significantly decreasing the deforestation of our planet. Still, Greenington proves there is more that can be done. As beautiful as hardwoods are (and they are, let me tell you), Greenington's bamboo furniture possesses a unique beauty like no other. All of their furniture is finished on all sides, feature English Dovetail joinery, ultra smooth-gliding drawers, soft self-closing doors- true high-quality beauty. Even more incredible are their bamboo wood "finishes". Most of them appear to be the results of stains, but in fact, many of their luscious, dark finishes are achieved through the caramelization, or "cooking", of the sugars in bamboo. No stains mean even less potential for off-gassing! Allow yourself a deep dive into our stunning Greenington Collection. I promise it won't disappoint.
Earth-Friendly Changes in Your Life: Green Up In The Little Things
Eco-friendly dining furniture is only the first of many ways you can update your dining habits. If you haven't already succumbed to the charm of bento boxes, you owe it to yourself to look into this “on-trend” alternative to paper lunch bags and plastic zip-lock baggies. These Japanese lunch boxes are as decorative as they are useful, and the originality that goes into their design is often quite impressive. Add a little luxury to lunchtime by investing in an adorable new bento box.
If like me you have succumbed to the delectable elixir of life, aka coffee, then you have certainly borne witness to the paper waste... I should know, I worked at the *ahem* place with the...uh...siren. Let me tell you, coffee shops go through hundreds of paper cups a day. A green alternative is investing in a reusable thermal coffee mug. Not only are they cool and stylish (available in every size, shape, and color), but your barista will happily serve you your coffee in the reusable mug. Most places offer a discount if you bring in your own mug to promote sustainability and consumer awareness. Help the environment while you indulge in life’s sweet, sweet nectar of energy with a reusable mug.
To be honest, the world is now (thankfully) full of reusable items. I don’t know if you’ve seen this but there is now a reusable cotton swab! Recently I saw reusable produce bags and it was a game-changer. At that moment I realized just how many produce bags I go through. Reusable produce bags are the obvious next step after reusable shopping bags and I am all about this new green alternative. How many times can I say reusable? Reusable.
To conclude, making all these changes can at times feel burdensome, especially after centuries of haphazard living, but it is merely the adjustment period we fear. Everything takes some adjusting, but keeping in mind these changes will benefit you, your family, and the planet will surely keep you motivated. As much as I believe in all the science behind climate change, and the warnings about the irreversible damage threshold we are approaching, I still with all my heart hope the scientists are wrong. I hope we don't just have 10 years before things hit the roof, but just in case I will happily stick with my reusables, my recyclables, my vintage, and my heirloom quality furniture. I hope my kids appreciate my style and fashion sense...
Jovanna, Haiku Designs Staff