People often think about the environmental impact of their choices when it comes to the type of car they drive, the appliances they purchase, and even the light bulbs they use. What is less frequently found on their radar is the impact their choice of furniture can have on the health of the planet.
Sustainable and Natural Furniture
It’s easy to visit one of the big box stores and choose a side table, chair, or another piece of stylish furniture that will function effectively for a limited time. This is an easy fix, sort of like picking up fast food for dinner. In the back of your mind you know it isn’t the healthiest option, but it’s easily accessible and doesn’t require much effort on your part.
The problem is, it isn’t good for the environment and it really isn’t great for your budget. While it can be less expensive to choose a piece of furniture or décor item in this way, they usually aren’t durable which means they will probably need to be replaced within a few years.
If you take the time to look for items which are made to last for generations and that have been created with natural resources like sustainable wood, you will have a beautiful piece that can be passed down to your children and grandchildren. Bernhardt chairs are a great example of this type of furniture. They are available in numerous classic and contemporary styles and feel simultaneously solid and comfortable.
It is important to look at the manufacturer and the history of quality offered by certain brands when choosing new furniture. Making a furniture purchase should be more like creating a holiday meal. You only do it occasionally but the experience is always worth it and the result is infinitely more enjoyable than any fast food quick fix.
Decorating with Vintage Finds
Another really great way to focus on earth friendly décor is to purchase vintage or antique items instead of mass produced replicas. Sometimes people hear the word antique or even vintage and they immediately think the cost will be out of their comfort zone. This is typically not the case.
Antique stores and vintage boutiques can have amazing finds for those willing to spend the time seeking them out. Interestingly, many of the items for sale in these shops will have a similar aesthetic as those found in trendy retail shops. The primary difference being the items sold in an antique shop or vintage boutique are unlikely to be seen in anyone else’s home.
Another substantial benefit for shopping in these types of stores is the environmental cost of creating the items was paid years or even generations in the past. They are unlikely to have been derived from corporate manufacturing processes which can pollute the environment and are not adding immediate waste to landfills.
Clearing Your Space
Another important way to use your home to promote good environmental stewardship is to take the time to thoroughly clean and declutter your space. This will help in two important ways. First, it will give you a realistic picture of what you have and what you truly need. Second, it will give you the opportunity to put items which are not of service to you back into the consumer market for others to purchase. This allows them to make a needed purchase without adding to the problems of pollution linked to many mass production techniques.
When you are cleaning out your garage, attic, storage units, and closets you may discover treasures which would add an aesthetically pleasing layer to your home décor. There may be a bureau waiting to be painted lime green for your child’s bedroom that would be sturdier, less expensive, and more environmentally friendly than a piece purchased from a mass marketer that was simply designed to fulfill a temporary need.
As you become more aware of those items which surround you within your home, it will be easier to identify the true cost of any new items you wish to bring in. It may take a little more effort to choose environmentally conscious décor, but it will make a difference and likely improve your appreciation of your décor.
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