Green Does Not Refer to Just the Color of the Furniture!

Green Furniture

Lawn Furniture Made of Recycled Materials

It is possible for any type of furniture, whether it is school lockers, cafeteria tables or any other variation of the furniture we all use every day, to be eco-friendly. Here are some useful tips on how to join in the growing move towards reducing waste, saving resources, and thereby protecting our environment.

Tip One: Consider purchasing furniture made of recycled materials, such as plastic or metal, rather than wood. There is a move among environmentalists to switch to metal and plastic furniture for several reasons. Recycled materials need less processing, and use less resources. Check if the furniture you are thinking about buying can be repaired easily to help it last longer. Also, when the item does come to the end of its useful life, can it be dis-assembled easily for another bout of recycling?

Tip Two: Rattan is the “New Wood.” Wicker furniture comes from a type of palm tree that looks more like a vine than a tree, called ‘rattan.’ It is easier to harvest rattan than wood, and easier to transport. The tools needed to harvest it are also simpler. Rattan also grows more quickly than almost all other tropical wood. Rattan is lightweight, extremely durable, stands up to all kinds of weather, and it’s quite flexible. Therefore, consider rattan furniture as an alternative to wood.

Tip Three: Bamboo is another material which can be a good alternative to wood. A type of a grass, bamboo can come in many colors and sizes. It is strong and grows fast, and is a generally versatile material. It is basically the ‘poster plant’ for green construction materials, bring used in all sorts of creations, from floors to clothing, and even in building construction. One thing to be careful about when purchasing bamboo furniture: most bamboo is grown in China where pesticide use is common. Before you purchase, ask your retailer about this issue.

One last tip: Buying traditional strong wooden furniture that is made to last many years, perhaps several lifetimes, can also be environmentally friendly if it only disrupts the environment once and then is handed down for generations.

Whatever you choose, enjoy your furniture!


From Construction Site to Home: Pallets Become Furniture

Pallet Furniture

Furniture Made from Pallets

You know what pallets are- they are wooden, movable platforms used to stack, store and move products. They are especially useful when using a forklift to move and store these goods. When pallets get too old to fulfill their mission, then what happens to these otherwise perfectly good pieces of wood? The answer is: In the right hands, just about anything can happen to these versatile, strong, building blocks for all kinds of furniture.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see discarded pallets turning up as folding chairs, school desks, or lounge furniture. Many designers have been working with pallets, and have come up with some great ideas for recycling them. In particular two British designers launched a company in 2010 whose first project was an innovative design for a folding chair. Later they went the next step to creating a folding table. Both items can lay flat and are easy to store.

The designers patiently and painstakingly remove every nail and carefully take apart the wood and save the nails. When rebuilding the pallets into their folding chairs they reuse the nails and the wood, never using new wood or even new pallets. All the pallets they use are discarded and can’t be re-used as pallets. Any leftover wood from the pallets is made into another type of chair, which they call the X-Chair.

The designers are currently running a Kickstarter campaign, which can be viewed here: